Stevenson highlights success of popular boat festival

Stewart Stevenson MSP.
Stewart Stevenson MSP.

The spectacular success of the Scottish Traditional Boat Festival in Portsoy was highlighted in a Scottish Government debate by Stewart Stevenson, SNP MSP for Banffshire and Buchan Coast, last week.

To mark the national Homecoming 2014 celebrations Mr Stevenson praised the volunteers that have created a festival that over 21 years has grown from a few hundred visitors to tens of thousands worldwide.

He said: “For a community like Portsoy this is quite simply the best thing that will happen here. It is a talking point all the year round – the population multiplies by 20 and the media descends on Portsoy, which this year is like a Scotland in miniature.

“It highlights the enthusiasm of the community and the energy of local volunteers who believe in their event. They give their time freely and generate a significant part of the £50m expected to be generated by this year’s Homecoming, sustaining economic viability for the area.”

“This is a world renowned event attracting people from every corner of the globe.

“In a rural area like Portsoy if we did not have the Boat Festival we would have to invent it.”

The Scottish Traditional Boat Festival in Portsoy takes place from 27-29 June and includes a variety of cultural events including music from Celtic Connection award winners RURA, food and drink from the region including Portsoy’s Glenglassaugh malt whisky, sailing events and craft workshops.

Earlier this year, housholders in the area were asked to be accomodating to visitors to the area during the festival, with organisers seeking home owners who would be willing to find space for those needing a room over the weekend.

Anyone who is prepared to host visitors during the Festival should contact Shona Murray by calling 01261 842951 or email shona@stbfportsoy.com.

At the time, Scottish Traditional Boat Festival chairman Roger Goodyear said: “People in Portsoy and the surrounding areas are renowned for being welcoming and friendly – it’s one of the reasons that people return to the Festival time and time again – and we are asking them to help out if they can.”

Further information on the Portsoy Boat Festival can be found by visiting www.stbfportsoy.com.