Flagship pitch party a fitting finale as festival crowds prepare for ‘the big one’

Cornet Ross Nichol and Lass Gillian Smith presented gifts to Flower Princess Ellie Hatton and attendants Elyssa Hope and Rhianna Adams
Cornet Ross Nichol and Lass Gillian Smith presented gifts to Flower Princess Ellie Hatton and attendants Elyssa Hope and Rhianna Adams

THE SUMMER Festival has enticed hundreds of people to various events in the past week and organisers hope that more still will revel in tomorrow’s Party on the Pitch showpiece event at Buccleuch Park.

“Party on the Pitch is our big one this weekend,” said committee chairman Raymond Wood. “It’s a huge event in the Hawick calendar, and I’m hoping that everybody can come along and support it.

“People can bring their gazebos if the weather’s not great, and we’ve got kids’ attractions and bands for the adults. The bands are great, a good day’s entertainment.”

This year’s Flower Princess, Ellie Hatton, opened the festival on Saturday by receiving gifts from Cornet Ross Nichol and Cornet’s Lass Gillian Smith at a cermony in Trinity Gardens. Ellie was accompanied by attendants Elyssa Hope and Rhianna Adams, and festival organiser Raymond Wood praised the performance of the young girls. “They were very well turned out and it was a great effort by them,” he said.

The opening of a balloon race provided the dramatic backdrop of a sky filled with inflatables, each attached with tickets purchased by local people to raise money. The winning balloon is that found furthest from Hawick, with its ticket owner standing to win £100.

“It was a spectacular scene seeing the balloons being set off,” said Mr Wood. “We sold about 700-800, and all the money goes back into the festival and to local charities at the end of the day.”

Festival organisers identified an opportunity to showcase the various functions of Teviotdale Leisure Centre, which has been threatened with closure in recent years. Both the kids’
open day and the Saturday evening Hootenanny were held there.

Mr Wood said: “The kids seemed to have great fun and had a good laugh with the games they played as part of the We Are The Champions event, which Lesley-Anne Aitken’s team won. We had a lot of people up on the balcony to watch, too.

“The Hootenanny wasn’t quite as busy as expected, but 250 people came and everyone had a good night.

“The bands and performers were all excellent and the indoor bowling hall was a brilliant venue. There was some great work on everybody’s part to set it up.

Around 40 walkers, including some of this year’s Weel Kent Faces, enjoyed the organised 17-mile hike to Denholm and Ruberslaw on Sunday, while 20 people joined ‘Haig’s Hike’ on Monday night to Minto and Fatlips Castle.

A further 27 enjoyed the ‘Dander round the Wellogate’ and a visit to the cemetery, which featured stories by Ian Landles and Gordon McDonald about gravestones and people buried there.

Teries are reminded that Hawick Film and Video Group’s 1972 Hawick Pictorial, which features images of the town from 40 years ago, will be staged for another week in the Croft Road cinema from Monday until Friday at 7.30pm each night.

n Volunteers are required to help set up Party On The Pitch. Willing helpers should report to Graham Ford at Buccleuch Park between 4-6pm today.