THE FESTIVAL WEEKEND
Strichen Festival is held annually on the weekend following the third Wednesday in May
May 18th 19th and 20th
The Buchan Heritage Festival at Strichen is one of the finest places to appreciate our rich tradition of music, song, verse, drama and story, and, at the same time, enjoy listening to, or using, the broad ‘Doric’ language which is still very much alive here in the North East, and enjoy a friendly family atmosphere where contestants have come from a’ the airt’s and pairt’s o’ Scotland and sometimes beyond.
On the Friday evening a pre festival dance is held when we really get into the festival ‘youmer’.
By eight o’ clock you’ll find the Ritchie Hall full of keen dancers, local and visiting, who come along every year from far and wide to enjoy an evening of traditional dancing.
The music is supplied each year by one of our many fine Scottish dance bands who come from as far away as Dumfries and Ayr or as near as Inverurie and Huntly. They usually stay on until Saturday when they take part in the prize winners concert early on Saturday evening and also entertain at the Ceilidh later on the same night
The weekend’s visitors and contestants, arrive throughout the evening congregating in the Redwood Lounge where they catch up with latest festival news and get into the spirit – in more ways than one – of the following days competitions
SATURDAY – FESTIVAL DAY
Saturday is the main day of the festival weekend. Competitions begin at 9.30am and continue throughout the day in a very professional and friendly manner. As a rule, musical instruments, Doric verse and story telling, as well as any schools competitions, take up most of the time during the morning. This leaves a very full afternoon of singing at the ballads and bothy ballad competitions.
The prize winners concert at six thirty, has for over thirty years, been compered by Robbie Shepherd MBE, an honorary president and faithful friend of the Society who although retired as compere in 2016 still takes an interested and active part in all that goes on. The concert is two hours of the best traditional entertainment you could wish for. Here we feature the winners in most of the competition sections, played to a packed audience who applaud the talented folk who make Buchan and this small part of Scotland unique.
Then it’s all hands on deck to get the hall cleared and reset for the Ceilidh which begins at nine o’cock.
For those who have not managed to be at the dance on Friday or the prize winners concert earlier in the evening, the Ceilidh is an ideal opportunity to get a little taste of everything. For those who have been there, in the thick of competing or organising all weekend, it is now a chance to relax for a couple of hours and enjoy the company and talent of everyone concerned in a successful festival. Honorary members Joe Aitken and Jim Taylor usually share the job of compere and along with the band and anyone who will volunteer or be volunteered we have an enjoyable evening of song, dance and good humour.
SUNDAY AFTERNOON & FAREWELL CEILIDH
After a very busy and successful weekend the Royal British Legion Hall is the setting for the finale at 2.00pm on Sunday afternoon. The band is no longer with us but there is no shortage of talented musicians to play, and after a full afternoon of song, music, verse and good humour old friends part with the promise of the next meeting, whether it be next week or the same time next year.
All the festival formalities are carried out in the Ritchie Hall.
Refreshments are available throughout the day in the Ritchie Hall.
A concert is held at 12.00 noon in the Ritchie Hall, no charge.
The competitions are held in various venues around Strichen.
The Ritchie Hall – Strichen School – The Royal British Legion Hall are the most usual places.
All entries should be sent to the festival organiser prior to the day or the appropriate forms completed and handed to the steward dealing with entries thirty minutes before each contest.