TONS OF FUN AT NITH RIVER RAID
A Viking-themed Nithraid was a big success on Saturday celebrating Dumfries’ long relationship with its river, trade and sail power.
The Stove Network’s fifth staging of the fun family event on and around the River Nith in the town was the biggest yet, running an hour longer in the afternoon than usual and then providing more entertainment in the evening for the first time.
An organiser, Kirstin McEwan of The Stove, said: “We are absolutely delighted with how it all went. It is our biggest Nithraid to date.
“We have never had so many spectators before. The new Nithraid Night Time was really successful too with people enjoying the music, entertainment and campfires.”
The sailing race, starting from the Solway Firth with a beachlaunch start at Carsethorn and up the River Nith to Whitesands’ Caul, was made possible by one of the highest tides of the year.
A total of 15 boats set off in the morning but little wind and high water meant the going was tough and the winner was decided at Glencaple with only a few then making it to the Caul in the afternoon. The winner was David Sleggs from Castle Douglas with his boat, Scottish Bluebells.
In the meantime, the Salty Coo procession – a nod to the trading links the Nith gave Dumfries – wound its way from Fountain Square on Dumfries High Street to the Mill Green, kick-starting events in the town.
This year, the procession was led by Leo Marsh, Jimmy Russell and Agne Zdanaviciute, who are a group of young artists living in Dumfries who used street theatre and clowning techniques.
The region’s Longfada Viking Group and The Stove set up an arts and food village at Mill Green, opposite the Whitesands, interpreting the lives of people living by the river 1000 years ago.
There was also a Viking combat display and Wordsmithcrafts, another Viking-themed group, worked with other local groups to bring activities for all the family.
Visitors enjoyed art activities and demonstrations, music from Blueprint100, free vegan stew provided by Craig Paterson of Catering Plus, entertainment from pianist Fraser Clark and from Stuart MacPherson of Paragon as well as the ritual dunking of the legendary Salty Coo.