Smuggling festival weekend at Ballantrae draws in the crowds

The cast of a murder mystery based on a local story get into character.
The cast of a murder mystery based on a local story get into character.

Ballantrae’s colourful past was brought to life once again at the village’s smuggling festival.

This year’s event included two productions arranged by festival partner Ayrshire Rural Touring Network.

Two youngster mount a spirited challenge at Ballantrae smugglers festival.

Two youngster mount a spirited challenge at Ballantrae smugglers festival.

One of the productions was a family friendly murder mystery written especially for them by Kenny Boyle of ‘Can You Catch the Killer’ and based on a local story; the other was ‘McDougall’s Treasure Hunt’ with amazing characters and sing-along songs for the young audience.

A Smugglers’ Supper in the local hotel was accompanied by live music from two superb local musicians - the Wah Wahs.

Then on Smugglers’ Sunday the family ‘Contraband Challenge’ included families from Glasgow, Halifax and Italy, cracking treasure hunt clues before paddling out into Ballantrae Bay to recover the contraband.

To round off the festival, the children of Ballantrae Primary School produced a video entitled ‘Ballantrae Smugglers - What’s the Story’ using pictures from previous festivals to tell the story. The primary school’s video is available to view on the Ballantrae Smugglers Festival Facebook page.

KIng's Arms staff in costume.

KIng's Arms staff in costume.

Andy McAlpine, chairman of the Ballantrae Trust which organises the festival said: “The festival keeps Ballantrae’s 18th and 19th century smuggling history alive.

“It has been in existence for five years now and every year we do something different to re-tell our stories. Our thanks go to our partners, our sponsors, our volunteers, the local primary school children who always play an important part in the festival, and our audiences for the various events, for making it another memorable weekend.”

Ballantrae Smugglers Festival partners were The Ayrshire Rural Touring Network, Adventure Carrick, The King’s Arms Hotel, and Craigiemains Home & Garden Centre; and event sponsors included SCOTMID and Carrick Futures/Ballantrae Community Council Community Benefit Fund.