The 2015 Duns Summer Festival got off to a colourful start on Sunday when Reiver Darren Aitchison was entrusted with the Town Standard for safekeeping during the week.
The festivities made light of the difficulties that came to light just before the start of the festival, with local businesses and individuals banding together to make up the shortfall after the organisation suffered “financial irregularities”.
Those problems were forgotten at the Kirkin’ O’ the Reiver in Duns Parish Church.
This year’s principals are Reiver Darren Aitchison, Reiver’s Lass Stacey Wilson, and their attendants Euan Reed and Jade Whellans. The Wynsome Mayde elect is Mariah Rong.
Duns Pipe Band, resplendent in their new kilts, led the procession from the church to the Market Square where a large crowd had turned out for the opening ceremony.
Darren was entrusted with the Town Standard by festival president Doug Redpath.
Darren was charged with the tradition of returning it to him at the end of the week, “untarnished and unsullied” in the words of the ceremony.
Reiver’s Lass Stacey then bussed the standard with this years colours of larkspur and gold. Dougal Affleck, chairman of the Duns Ex-Reiver’s Association then presented gifts to the ex-principals of 50 and 25 years ago.
Reiver and Reiver’s Lass back in 1965 were Chris Robertson (whose son accepted on his behalf) and Helen McInnes (nee Lackenby). 1990’s principals, Gary Stevenson and Elaine Whellans (nee Deuchar) were also honoured.
A reception followed in the Volunteer Hall, attended by representatives from the other Borders festivals.
Later on in the evening a Family Cycle Run around the town attracted a large number of entries.
Duns Players together with the Duns and District Amateur Operatic Society staged a concert in the Volunteer Hall.
Monday night was the big night for young Mariah Rong as she was crowned Wynsome Mayde O’ Dunse at a colourful ceremony held in the grounds of Duns Castle.
Mariah was crowned by Mrs May Kinghorn.Her court was: Maydes of Honour - Ailsa Dewar, Sophie Scott, Abbi Lindsay and Jenni Gray; Heralds - Lewis Learmonth and Calvin Adeosun; Sword Bearer - Andrew Gray; Crown Bearer - Matthew Doyle; Courtiers - Kieran Herbert and Liam Brown.
Pages were Gillian MacAuley and Jack Royan, together with Tillie-May Greenshields and Charlie Jeffrey. Flower bearers were: Finn Birchall, Ailsa Renton, Kayden Binnie, Chelsea Bates, Mitchel Chapman, Nicola Thomson, Jenna Bullard, Phoebe Leid Smith, Luke Angus, Jennifer MacAuley, Max Young, Maisie Lindsay, Ryan Bates, Melissa Leid Smith, Keira Thomson, Chantelle Jeffrey, Abigail Abbot, Robyn McCue and Jessica Walker.
The crowning ceremony was followed by a mounted cavalcade around the town led by Duns Pipe Band and followed by the Wynsome Mayde, Reiver’s party and mounted riders.
Other events included the Bed Race, the various rideouts, golf competitions, a Teddy Bear’s Picnic, tea dance, gymkhana, family ceilidh, fancy dress disco, duck race, quiz night and a photo exhibition.
The week ends on Saturday evening with the Carnival Parade and Closing Ceremony.