Lining up the ducks for Ballater festival

The giant duck race on the Dee is the main event of the day and draw huge crowds
The giant duck race on the Dee is the main event of the day and draw huge crowds

The finishing touches are being put to preparations for Ballater’s annual Duck Festival this weekend.

There will be 50 different craft, charity and trade stalls on the three village Greens and inside the Glenaden Hotel in the centre of the village.

The duck festival organising committee

The duck festival organising committee

An estimated crowd of 2000 turned out for last year’s fun extravaganza and organisers are hoping for a recordbreaker on Sunday.

The popular event gets under way at 10am and there will be musical entertainment throughout the day.

Music will be provided by Ballater Pipe Band, pupils from Aboyne Academy and Ballater Primary School on the stage, and a Samba and Ukulele Band playing around the village Greens.

For the younger visitor, the day’s programme will feature donkey rides, bouncy castle, bouncy slide and merry-go-round.

The main event - the giant duck race on the River Dee - will be at 3pm.

Spectators can watch the 12 inflatable ducks race down the river from the banks, or from the bridge.

The winning duck will be paraded through the main street by the pipes and drums, from the bridge to the stage, where the winning sponsor will be presented with the coveted ‘Quack Quaich’.

Mike Forbes, a member of the organising committee, told the Piper this week: “Volunteers have been working hard behind the scenes since January to provide what promises to be a great day out.

“Any profits from the event are re-invested into local community projects.”

He added: “In recent years, we have supported Ballater Pipe Band, Aboyne Canoe Club, and installed electricity on the village Greens.

“An estimated 2,000 people visited Ballater for the festival last year and we hope to smash that record this year.

“The committee want to thank all the businesses who have supported the festival and also the stall-holders who come every year.”

For more details about Sunday’s event, visit the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/ballaterduckfestival.