First ever Smugglers festival in Ballantrae

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The Ballantrae Smugglers Festival began on Saturday with organisers making final preparations - and some scarecrows, for the event.

Last weekend saw the village swarmed with scarecrows so watch out for them at the festival.

On Monday 19 August in the Community Hall which has been re-named “The Smugglers Arms” for the festival from 7pm-8pm there was registerion for smuggler scarecrows in order for them to be entered in “The Smugglers Trail” and the smuggler scarecrow competition.

Registration cost £2 for adults and £1 for children. Upon entering they all received a free ticket to the “Court of Justice” on Friday night.

On Wednesday 21st August head to the Smugglers Arms for 5.30pm to see children getting sworn in as members of the local excise who will then be led round the smugglers trail. Prizes for those who spot the most smugglers. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

The Thursday night sees a free screening of “Secret Smugglers” in the Smugglers Arms from 7.30 onwards for adults and older children. Donations are welcome.

At 8pm there is whisky tasting for adults in the Smugglers Arms hosted by the Kirkoswald Whisky Experience. Tickets are £13 and please ensure you pre-book.

The weekend kicks off with the court for justice on Friday in the Smugglers Arms from 7.30pm. Re-enactors will be tried by the judge and villagers and will be told their punishment. Tickets are £2 for adults and £1 for children.

And the Saturday sees a fun day from 1pm-4pm in the Smugglers Arms and the healthcare car park. The village fayre will see stallholders try and dispose of smuggled goods.

Tickets for Ballantrae’s Smugglers’ Festival are available (in person) from Craigiemains Home and Garden Centre, Main Street, Ballantrae, by email from or phone 07920517700.

The festival will see author Frances Wilkins launch her new book. Entitled ‘Ballantrae’s Smuggling Story’ it will be launched on Wednesday 21 August at 7.30pm in the community hall.