GOLSPIE’s Gala Week was the "biggest and best" in its 39-year history, providing a vital boost for local tourism and attracting ex-pat villagers back home from as far as Australia, according to the organisers.
The annual extravaganza burst into bloom with a serene and colourful flower show curtain-raiser.
And it drew to a musical close last Saturday (Aug 4) with a sell-out dance that followed the excitement of massed pipes and drums playing to a crowd of hundreds in the centre of the village.
A packed programme of events proved serious competition for even the London Olympics with an even broader feast of delights, ranging from sports competitions and treasure hunts to arts events including an Elton John tribute night.
Other major attractions were a car banger derby, ceilidhs and a popular re-enactment of the 1970s TV hit show ‘Bullseye’.
The week’s programme of events raised about £5,000 for local charities who have been invited to submit applications for the funding by the end of September.
The organising Gala committee was thankful that, for the most part, the weather was favourable.
Alasdair Matheson, who has served as event chairman for 25 years, told the Northern Times: "Two words summed it up – biggest and best.
"The weather was challenging, but the turnout was excellent. We’ve been very lucky with the weather, really. Everything was perfect.
"The shops and hotels cleaned up in the best week of the year for them and the gala brought families back to the village from as far as Australia."
He continued: "Friday was unbelievable with the fancy dress, and both sides of the street were lined from end to end of the village for the massed pipe bands on Saturday.
"Everybody was enjoying themselves."
Praising the team effort that made this year’s gala so memorable, he added: "I’d like to say a very big thank you to the committee, the helpers, the crowds, the visitors and everybody who turned out."
The organisers offered an apology to youngsters who were disappointed by the late cancellation of a sand castle event due to a downpour. Safely under canvas, the teddy bears’ picnic did go ahead earlier that day.
Local beauty Rosalind Hill, a student attended by Tara MacBeath and Georgina Lamrock, was crowned 2012 Gala Queen.
Around 120 people entered the long established Ben Bhraggie Hill Race.
Local offshore worker Billy Mackenzie was among the stars turns of the week, standing in for TV’s Jim Bowen as the host of a sell-out 2012 version of the iconic ‘Bullseye’ contest for darts lovers.
The novelty event attracted more than 100 ecstatic fans of the much-loved show to the Stag’s Head Hotel.