‘Muchty me! It’s festival time again

Having fun at last year's pram race
Having fun at last year's pram race

Final touches are being put to preparations for this year’s Auchtermuchty Festival, which is still going strong after 35 years.

The popular event begins in earnest next weekend and includes all the traditional elements that have made it a perennial family favourite.

The fact that it’s got off the ground at all this year is impressive in itself as the organising committee has dwindled to just three.

But the trio were determined not to be defeated and have come up with an ingenious way of ensuring that it not only goes ahead but that community involvement is maximised.

“Because the committee is so small we decided that this year we would ask all the individual groups in ‘Muchty to organise their own events,” said chairman Louise Ness.

“That way everyone in the community has a part to play and the various groups have the opportunity to raise funds for themselves.”

However the committee is running some of the most popular events, including the the pram race and the Sunday Funday, which includes the annual silly hat competition and the pageant.

Highlights of the Festival programme this year include an accordion exhibition in the Victoria Hall on August 8, featuring more than 30 antique accordions and other memorabilia belonging to Muchty’s most famous son, Sir Jimmy Shand.

The artefacts have been lent by Sir Jimmy’s son, Jimmy Jnr., who lives in the town that his famous dad put on the map.

The exhibition will be followed in the evening by a ceilidh hosted by the popular local group the Muchty Musicmakers.

There’s something lined up for each day of the 10-day festival, from five-a-side football tournaments to mystery bus trips, coffee mornings, quizzes and live music.

Local organisations and businesses have pulled out all the stops to ensure that the event is as successful as it has been for the past 34 years.

Among them is local weighing machine manufacturer John White & Son, one of Scotland’s oldest family firms and the oldest of its kind in the UK, which this year celebrates its 300th anniversary.

An exhibition tracing the company’s history is being held on August 6, and its managing director Ted White has taken on the organisation of the traditional petanque competition, held annually in honour of ‘Muchty’s long-standing links with France.

Other groups participating include Auchtermuchty Community Trust, the local Lunch Club , the Scouts, the Calsay Twirlers and the Cycle Tavern.

There is no printed programme this year, but details can be found on Auchtermuchty Festival Society’s Facebook page.