Community group looks back on profitable Invercairn gala


As the nights begin to draw in, and in this year’s case, the Indian summer begins, the memories of the Invercairn Gala remain vivid.

Following another successful week-long event the committee of the ICSG are delighted at the accomplishments of this year’s event.

As always the golf open drew in another huge attendance with more than 170 turning out at Inverallochy Golf Club, giving a great boost to kick-off the gala.

The Treasure Trial again pulled in well over 105 children entries of all ages. mums and dads, grannies and didies all held their breath for the onslaught of trinket collection by their siblings as the clocked ticked by while trying to collect treasure and answer the clues.

Tuesday night kicked off with a poorer than normal showing for Family Zumba, but die-hards still appeared where they were whipped into shape by Ginette Murdoch.

A new event for this year was the Bicycle Race where the challenges of an assault course, combined with a bit of ‘cross-dressing’ brought hoots of laughter from the attending audience.

With the big white screen in place for the ever popular Horse Racing, more than 300 attended and with Tote Masters Archie and Alistair at the Helm, the noise was incredible as the crowds cheered on their nags over the jumps and finish line.

The Junior Bingo on Wednesday afternoon saw more than 200 attendees.

If there is one night which is a testament to our system, the Quiz and Talent-less Show later that evening, take the biscuit squared.

With crowds queuing outside from before 5pm for a 7pm start, it’s a feather in the cap to say they must be doing something right.

With more than 120 teams entering, over 640 people seated (not to mention the standing room only crowd) the gala welcomed back a voice from the past, Bill Paterson, to head up the quiz.

With every committee member, helper and marker flat out during the quiz, and once all the totals were tallied, it was time for the entertainment to begin.

The Talent-less show produced four acts this year namely, The Lady Boys of Belgar, Grunnie Dilo, The Usual Suspects and Mr Lover Lover.

If it wasn’t for the braveness of these individuals coming up on stage and facing an audience of well in excess of 700, it would be a short night, regardless of the difficulty to manage.

First to face the music on Thursday was Uncle Brian and the Junior Disco who kept the kids (and parents!) highly energised for a couple of hours.

When it comes to the quietest part of the week, the Prize Bingo night also involves a lot of shuffling when people are ‘sweating for the last number,’ followed by a roar of ‘house’, before the whole cycle starts over again.

Not so many false shouts were evident this year, as the torture of having to stand up and be subjected to 639 braying donkeys is humiliating enough. B

ig John McRuvie graced the premises again this year and closed out the evening with his Comedy Disco, although his sidekick Dave was sadly missed.

When it comes to good weather on a Friday, it means the Fancy Dress parade will produce a good turnout.

Organisers weren’t disappointed with a marvellous showing of elaborate costumes and ideas and a whole lot of hard work.

With two guest judges, Jeanette Gray and Miriam Summers, marking all the categories, it is one job you never want to do.

‘Cupcakes Fit For A Queen’ romped off with the best group and Best Overall, and proved to be a very popular winner.

With the marking finished, tables and chairs cleared and a dance floor opened up, it could only mean one thing. The Friday Marquee Dance.

Organisers were grateful to see the return of ‘SPLASH’ as the live band to entertain the crowd, and did so in spectacular fashion, with the dance floor packed all night with crowds showing their appreciation.

When it comes to weather, the only day you can’t have a contingency in place for is the main gala day on Saturday afternoon.

With the whole site set up before 11.30am, the sun beating down and bacon butties had by all the workers, it was time to face the turnout.

Local business owner Gilbert Downie opened up this year’s gala and boy what a turnout.

The baby show proved to be another popular event (winners were - upto 6 months section – 1) Layla Tait, 2) Sophie Byrne, 3) Kaycee Watt. 12-18 month section – 1) Ethan Smith, 2) Bethan Ritchie, 3) Jaxon Jappy. Up to 2years section – 1) Lexie Simpson, 2) Miley Scott, 3) Madison Scally), and all attractions proved to be very popular this year.

There were the usual stalls inside and out, Twit-2-Woo, the amazing fish and seafood stall, 610 Dance Academy, the Jog Scotland-ers, a great array of inflatable’s, including Rollerball, Lazer-maze and many others.

The archery and laser clays were also a popular event. The pipe band this year were the Inverurie Pipe Band, but the main attraction was the strongman competition - not only a turnout of brawn and grunts, but an exhibition of what many youngsters could achieve through hard work and dedication.

With the smell of the finest burgers in the north east and fried kippers still lingering, it was time to secure everything up for the evening for the Saturday Marquee Dance.

This year music was provided by ‘SLINKY’ who were blown away by the 750-strong presence.

It is the busiest and best night of the week and although the committee and helpers were glad it’s all over, it was sad to see the door close for the penultimate event of the week, realising it is almost over.

Sunday morning kicked-off with the big clean-up by the dedicated few and making sure the ‘Tardis’ gets loaded up in the order it is needed for next year.

With the tent almost bare it was time to close the week off with the Gala Praise in the Invercairn Community Hall.

With more than 100 people attending, the evening was led by the very popular Bill Sangster and his funny one liners. Afterwards all were treated to ‘tea and a fine piece’ before seeing the PA system stowed away for another year.

This year the gala successfully managed to raise another fantastic profit of more than £26,000.

This achievement is even more astounding when taking into consideration the surprisingly high costs of services associated with organising the week-long event.

This amazing feat could only have been made possible by the hard work and effort exerted by everyone associated with the gala, especially the dedicated committee and key helpers, who once again managed to cement it all together to produce a very successful event.

With the final preparations underway on a new gala building, the ICSG is now looking for ideas and suggestions for new projects and welcomes any input the local public may have.

Organisations, clubs and societies local to the Invercairn Communities will shortly be able to apply for funding through the normal process, and forms will be available from the Inverallochy Post Office and Cairnbulg Library from Monday, October 1.

All forms must be returned by Friday, October 26.

The ICSG, has expressed thanks to each and every single person who helped out in any way this year in making the Invercairn Gala the huge success it continues to be.

Whether you attended, planned, helped, baked, photographed, dressed up, cooked, served, collected, sold, slept, babysat, donated, entertained, supplied and most importantly turned up, it was all appreciated and each formed a part of the eventful and rather large jigsaw of entertainment.

There is never enough committee and dedicated members and the gala relies heavily on people giving up their time and effort to put together such a successful week.

Without the fantastic spirited community effort and the voluntary assistance received, the committee would not be able to piece the whole week together.

Should anyone have any ideas or suggestions, or would like to join the committee and be part of North East Scotland’s most successful gala, email or via the Invercairn Gala Facebook page.

Hope to see you all next year from August 5 to 11!..