Excitement is gathering as Duns prepares for its 2014 Festival Week and the organisers are hoping that this year they are blessed with some fine weather.
The 2014 Reiver is Ross Foreman and Reiver’s Lass is Lauren Burns. Their attendants are Darren Aitchison and Stacey Wilson. The Wynsome Mayde elect is Shannon Bates.
Duns Summer Festival, or ‘Reiver’s Week’ as it is affectionately known, gets underway on Sunday, July 6, with the traditional Kirkin’ of this year’s principals in Duns Parish Church at 11am.
This will be followed by the Opening Ceremony when Reiver Ross will be entrusted with the Town Standard by Festival committee president, Doug Redpath, for safekeeping during the week’s festivities.
In the evening a Family Cycle Run will start from Market Square at 6.30pm and will make its way through Duns Castle Estate.
On Monday the Ladies and Juniors Golf Competitions will be staged at Duns Golf Club.
During Monday morning there will be a Kirk Cafe in the Parish Church Hall at 10am and from 10am to 2pm there will be free play at Hurly Burly for children aged between one and 12.
Monday is the big day for the 2014 Wynsome Mayde Shannon Bates.
Along with her Court, Shannon will be led in procession to Duns Castle where she will be crowned by Mrs Nella Feeney at approximately 6pm.
This will be followed by a mounted cavalcade from Duns Castle led by Duns Pipe Band followed by the Wynsome Mayde, Reiver, Lass and their attendants.
At 7.30pm the Bed Race, organised by the Ex-Reiver’s Association, will start from the Murray Street Roundabout. Entry is £10 per team of six (mixed, over 18s only). Entries to Dale Robertson on 07969 043874.
Tuesday’s events include the Gents Golf Competition, Kirk Cafe in the Parish Church Hall at 10am, Teddy Bear’s Picnic in the Volunteer Hall from 12 noon to 1.30pm (bring your own pinic and teddy), Tea Dance in the Volunteer Hall from 3-4.40pm and Fun Kids Football organised by Duns Football Club (venue to be confirmed) from 6-8pm.
The rideout to Duns Law and The Bruntons will leave Market Square at 6pm with the service on the Law conducted by the Rev Stephen Blakey at 6.30pm. The oration at The Bruntons will be given by Mr Alec Hay.
A Gymkhana will be staged in the Mainsgate Park area after the service and will be followed by the Gents and Ladies Gallops.
The evening is rounded off with a Family Ceilidh in the Volunteer Hall at 7.30pm.
On Wednesday there will be a Fancy Dress Disco in the Volunteer Hall from 1-3pm and Strawberry Teas in the church hall from 2-4pm.
Those participating in the traditional Riding of the Bounds will leave Market Square at 5.45pm.
The token ceremony of cutting the sod will be carried out at Harelaw Craigs on Duns Common and the Reiver’s Party will visit Duns Castle and Gavinton.
A new event this year is the Ex-Reivers Duck Race at Langton Mill starting at 6pm. Ducks (£1 each) can be purchased from any Ex-Reiver.
Duns FC and Duns RFC will battle it out for the John Thorburn Cup on the old High School pitches at 7pm and the popular Quiz Night will be held in the Volunteer Hall at 9.30pm.
There will be games, dancing and magic with Ron Ray in the Volunteer Hall on Thursday afternoon from 1.30-3.30pm and at 4pm the Reiver and his party will lead the rideout to Longformacus arriving in Longformacus around 7pm.
The 5k Fun Run, for children and adults, will start from outside Hugos at 6.30pm and Duns Pipe Band will entertain in Market Square from 8pm.
The Torchlight Procession starts at 10.30pm followed by a bonfire and fireworks display at the Old High School.
There will be a Free Swim at Duns Pool, hosted by the Wynsome Mayde, from 11.30am-12.30pm on Friday for primary school children only.
Another new event on the programme this year is ‘Dingers Fun’ presented by Duns Rugby Club. Join them for two hours of rugby and sport fun from 1-3pm at the Old High School (boys and girls up to P7). The traditional Hand Ba’ will take place in Market Square at 6pm and at 6.30pm the final of the Single Handed Bowling Championship will take place at Duns Park Bowling Green.
The Reiver’s Dinner and Ball will be held in the Volunteer Hall on Friday night starting at 7.30pm for 8pm.
It’s an early start for the riders on Saturday morning with the Reiver’s Breakfast in the Black Bull Hotel at 6.30pm.
The ride to Whitchester will leave at 9am.
Entrants in the Fancy Dress Carnival Parade should assemble in Winterfield Gardens at 5.30pm for judging at 6pm and at 6.30pm the parade proceeds through the town led by Duns Pipe Band and the Reiver’s Party to Market Square.
The Closing Ceremony and presentation of main trophies for competitions held throughout the week will follow before Reiver Ross hands back the Town Standard to the Festival committee president and is returned in procession to Duns Parish Church.
From 9pm till late, Rebel Rouser will provide music in Market Square and the week’s proceedings come to a close at midnight when the Reiver and his party sing the 23rd Psalm.
This year’s Reiver’s colours are Purple and Aqua.