All ducks in a row for Ballater’s big festival

The main event of the day is the giant duck race
The main event of the day is the giant duck race

Organisers of Ballater’s popular Duck Festival are predicting this year’s event will be the best yet.

The fun-filled event will be held this Sunday with a bumper programme of entertainment lined up.

Pipe band parade

Pipe band parade

It will be the village’s third duck festival and crowds have thronged to previous events.

More than 2000 are estimated to have watched last year’s duck race.

A busy schedule has been drawn up for the festival with up to 70 different craft, charity and business stalls on the three Greens and inside the Glenaden Hotel.

The event will also feature a variety of entertainment for all ages.

This will include Ballater Pipe Band and a free stage where Aboyne Academy pupils and a samba band and a ukulele band will perform.

There will also be donkey rides, cup and saucers, bouncy castle and bungee trampolines for the youngsters.

The main event of the day will be the duck race on the River Dee.

It gets under way at 3pm and the four-and-a-half feet tall ducks can be viewed from the bridge or the riverbank.

The winner will be paraded up Bridge Street by the pipe band to the centre of the village, where the winning duck sponsor will be awarded the hugely sought-after ‘Quack Quaich’.

A duck committee spokesperson told the Piper: “We managed to bring in some new ducks from China for this year’s race since the River Dee has an abundance of sharp rocks and boulders which are not always the kindest to our inflatable ducks.

“It is estimated that there were more than 2,000 people watching the duck race in 2017 which is a record we hope will be smashed in 2018.

“The committee very much want to thank all the businesses who have supported Ballater in sponsoring the duck race and also all our stallholders who come every year.”

The festival will get under way at 10am and is expected to finish after the winning sponsor has been presented with the quaich at about 4pm.

Volunteers have been working behind the scenes since January to provide what promises to be a great day out.

Any excess money received from the festival will be re-invested into Ballater community projects.

Over the past year support has gone to Ballater Winter Festival, Aboyne Canoe Club, Ballater Pipe Band, and Electricity on the Green.

For more details on the event, please visit the website https://www.facebook.com/ballaterduckfestival/