Weathermen promise no rain on the parade

The 'royal' party will be donning their finery for tomorrow's gala. From left, Caitlyn Maskell, Niamh Allan, Michael Dow and Sam Neville.
The 'royal' party will be donning their finery for tomorrow's gala. From left, Caitlyn Maskell, Niamh Allan, Michael Dow and Sam Neville.

Cupar looks set to be blessed with long-awaited sunshine this weekend as a busy programme of community activities gets under way.

Tomorrow (Saturday) sees the town’s annual children’s gala, which kicks off at the town’s Fluthers car park at 11am with the traditional colourful parade.

Taking centre stage will be this year’s gala queen and king, Niamh Allan and Michael Dow, accompanied by their attendants, Caitlyn Maskell and Sam Neville.

The parade will follow last year’s route over South Bridge and will be joined by the walking parade at The Cross.

The party will then make its way to Duffus Park, where a packed afternoon of entertainment awaits.

Performers include the Calsay Baton Twirlers; Cupar Pipe Band; Yvonne Gray dancers; the Diamond Allstars cheer and dance team; the W3L wrestling team and, making his debut appearance at the gala, the amazing Tayport juggler Luke Davies.

Other attractions include family races organised by Cupar gym Time Fitness.

Months of meticulous planning have gone into ensuring the gala is a success – but this year, the event might not have happened at all were it not for the support and generosity of the local community.

It faced a financial crisis as recently as April but local businesses, organisations and individuals rallied round to ensure it went ahead.

It costs more than £5000 to stage the gala day, much of which is needed for ‘hidden’ costs like insurance, toilet hire, recycling bins, first-aid, generators and vans.

“The situation was looking quite precarious at one point,” said Ali Rankin, chairman of the gala committee.

“But we’ve been amazed at the generosity of local people.

“For example, Yvonne Gray donated the £1500 proceeds from her recent show and Katie Legg, who was gala queen two years ago, even did a sponsored shark dive.

“We’re so grateful to everyone who contributed – the gala is a much-loved tradition stretching back many years, and it would be so sad to lose it.”

The following day, families are invited to help raise funds for TCCL Lodge and Castlehill Primary School by taking part in the Team Summer Wee Walk, which takes place in Duffus Park at 11am, with distances to suit children of all ages.

Meanwhile, Cupar Civic Week, which began on Wednesday, continues with a variety of sporting events organised by clubs belonging to the Duffus Park community sports hub.

Tonight (Friday) the seven-a-side football tournament organised by AM Soccer reaches its climax, while on Sunday there’s a fun bowling day at Duffus Park bowling club, incuding an opportunity to take part in the Bowls Scotland trick shot competition.

East Fife Triathlon Club is hosting a swimming session on Monday, while next Saturday, June 13, Duffus Park Tennis Club is inviting adults to be involved in tennis coaching.

The week’s activities are all rounded off in style when the most prestigious prize in World Rugby, The Webb Ellis Trophy, is displayed at Howe of Fife Rugby Club.

Also on June 13, another of Cupar’s most popular events takes place in Duffus Park – the annual Highland Games.

The day begins at 11.30am at Bonnygate car park, when this year’s chieftain, army captain Joe Preece, will lead the parade to the park and officially open the games.