A “bigger and better” Fair Isle Festival will be staged in Lerwick town centre to coincide with the visit of the Queen’s Baton Relay.
Living Lerwick Ltd has been granted £8,575 from the Big Lottery’s “Celebrate” funding scheme which will be used to host this year’s festival.
It will be celebrating the link between Shetland and the rest of the Commonwealth.
Visit Shetland’s Steve Mathieson said: “Welcoming the queen’s baton to the town centre gives us an excellent opportunity to celebrate what we have in Lerwick town centre and show it off.
“The funding we will receive from Celebrate has enabled us to make the Fair Isle Festival bigger and better than last year.”
The festival will be a weekend event from 28th June until 1st July when the baton will be in Shetland and coming through Commercial Street after visiting schools around the island. The aim is to create a “buzz” throughout the town on the lead up to the baton arriving in order to give the relay a big welcome to the town centre.
The festival will kick off on Saturday 28th June at 11am with Living Lerwick’s market stalls which will be filled with members of the Food Producers’ Group until 6pm. This will coincide with Shetland cooking demonstrations which will fuse local produce with various styles of cooking from around the Commonwealth between 11am and 3pm.
At noon a traditional sports day will begin and all children up to age 12 are invited to come along and take part in the events including: sack race, shot put, long jump, hula hoop challenge, 100m sprint and a three-legged race.
Live music will be playing in Harrison Square between 1pm and 7pm with various shops opening late.
Cooking demonstrations and the food market will take place on Monday 30th June and Tuesday 1st July during the same times and live music will play from 1pm – 5pm on Monday and 1pm – 6pm on Tuesday.
Musicians will play music which has been inspired and influenced by different countries from within the Commonwealth.
Living Lerwick’s Christena Irvine said: “Originally we had planned to create a similar event to last August, when we first held the Fair Isle Festival, but when Steve arranged for the Queen’s Baton to come along Commercial Street it seemed more sensible to get involved in this exciting event.
“We kept the name Fair Isle Festival though as this is what we intend our summer event to be called every year.
“Businesses will be creating Fair Isle window displays which is greatly anticipated as there were many fantastic displays last year. There will also be a ‘spot the…’ style competition where the public will have to find all of the Commonwealth flags and tell us which shop is displaying which country.
“We hope everyone, businesses and public alike, will fully immerse themselves in these celebrations and take part in the fun activities.”
For details about when and where the Queen’s Baton Relay will be heading during its visit to Shetland see the 6th June edition of The Shetland Times.