Alloway celebrates life of the Bard

The village of Alloway got a real flavour of life from yesteryear when the annual Alloway 1759 returned this year, again earning plaudits as the way to celebrate the life and times of Rabbie Burns in South Ayrshire.

This year the celebrations were headlined by Scots singing sensation Eddi Reader MBE, who performed a concert at Ayr Town Hall in celebration of the Robert Burns Humanitarian Award 2013, posthumously awarded to Red Cross aid worker Khalil Dale the evening before.

Eddi was joined on stage by musicians Boo Hewerdine, Alan Kelly, John Douglas and Kevin McGuire, singing songs from her internationally-acclaimed 'Songs of Robert Burns', as well as tracks old and new.

Ayr’s Gaiety theatre hosted hosting two new events which proved very popular – a production of ‘A Man’s a Man’ and a unique Burns Supper – both boasting stars of the screen and stage.

Speaking in Alloway during the celebrations, Provost Helen Moonie said: “Burns would have been delighted his memory continues to be celebrated and enjoyed in this way and I’ve no doubt he’d also have been proud and humbled by the Humanitarian Award ceremony, named after him, supported by the Council and EventScotland.

“Alloway 1759 is now in its fifth year and, just as Scots all over the world have been paying their own tribute to Rabbie, Alloway 1759 really offers something for everyone.”

New events for 2013 included an Auld Alloway Ghost Walk, where the local poacher returned from the dead to roam the streets of Alloway and tell terrifying tales of Robert Burns’ birthplace, much to the entertainment of mums, dads and enthralled youngsters!

Other mouth-watering treats included a unique Burns Birthday Feast which saw visitors join in a 37th birthday feast for Rabbie, lovingly prepared by Jean Armour, while the Bard roamed the streets with friend Alexander Cunningham, banned from the house until dinner was ready!

Also popular were the many stalls, offering some of South Ayrshire’s finest produce, the Ayrshire Fiddle Orchestra who entertained and led the dances, helping to keep peoples’ toes tapping, the Ayrshire Farmers Market and, for the younger visitors, the free horse and cart trips through the village.

To see more of the images from the day, visit South Ayrshire Council’s page on photo sharing site Flickr, or log on to www.alloway1759.com to get a flavour of this year’s programme.