Duns Summer Festival, or ‘Reiver’s Week’ as it is afectionately known, gets underway on Sunday, July 5, with the traditional Kirkin’ of this year’s principals in Duns Parish Church.
Reiver Darren Aitchison is looking forward to the week’s events and is following in the footsteps of his elder brothers Kevin and Martin who held the position in 2006 and 2012 respectively. Reiver’s Lass is Stacey Wilson who was an attendant last year.
This year’s attendants are Euan Reed and Jade Whellans.
Sunday’s Kirkin’ will be followed by the Opening Ceremony in the Market Square when Reiver Darren will be entrusted with the Town Standard by Festival commitee 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. Duns Players and Duns and District Amateur Operatic Society are also holding a concert in the Volunteer Hall starting at 7.30pm.
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.
Monday is the big day for the 2015 Wynsome Mayde Mariah Rong. Along with her Court, Mariah will be led in procession to Duns Castle where she will be crowned by Mrs May Kinghorn 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. Sponsored by the Whip and Saddle, the race has attracted a record entry of seven beds.
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 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 ater 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. The Ex-Reivers Duck Race, which was introduced last year, will be held once again at Langton Mill starting at 6pm. Ducks (£1 each) can be purchased from any ExReiver.
Duns FC and Duns RFC will battle it out for the John Thorburn Cup at Castle Park at 7pm and the popular Quiz Night will be held in the Volunteer Hall at 9.30pm.
Duns and District Photographic Society (Duns Camera Club) are celebrating their 60th anniversary with an exhibition in the Duns Parish Church Hall between 2-9pm on Thursday.
At 4pm on Thursday Reiver Darren and his party will lead the rideout to Longformacus arriving in Longformacus around 7pm.
The 5k Fun Run, open to both 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 bonire and fireworks display at the Old High School. Torches are only available from the starting points (families and Home Avenue others at Duns Primary School).
There will be a Free Swim at Duns Pool, hosted by the Wynsome Mayde, from 11.30am to 12.30pm on Friday for primary school children only.
‘Dingers Fun’, presented by Duns Rugby Club, will be held at Castle Park. Join them for two hours of rugby and sport fun from 1-3pm (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. Dancing is to the music of ‘Cool Reception’.
It’s an early start for the riders on Saturday morning with the Reiver’s Breakfast in the Black Bull at 6.30am (booking is essential). The ride to Whitchester sets off from the Square at 9am.
In the evening the Carnrival Parade assembles at 6pm and this will be followed by the Closin@ Ceremony and prersentation of tro-hies in the Market Square.
There will be music in the Square from 9pm with ‘Rebel Rouser’.
This year’s Reiver’s Colours are larkspur and gold.