Dumfries & Galloway Standard - - FRONT PAGE -

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.

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