Sun and fortune shone on Saturday’s Langlee Carnival, with bumper numbers and £4,000 in the bank for next year’s festival.
True to tradition, Langlee’s Lad and Lass, primary 7 pupils Declan Bell and Melissa Garrens, opened the festival by cutting the ribbon at the Community Centre, after leading a fancy dress parade in a horse-drawn carriage from Langlee Primary School.
“They were as high as a kite,” said new chairperson Heidi Wilson. “It was the best attended. The whole community came out in force. People realised the festival’s for them.”
Galashiels Pipe Band piped the parade along Melrose Road, Hawthorn Road and Marigold Drive to the Community Centre, leading a clown on stilts, and children dressed as blue smurfs, lollipops, Peter Pan, and ‘crazy heads’.
“I wasn’t quite sure what some of them were, but they all really enjoyed it, and it was a super day,” said former chairperson Gerry Moss, who took a back seat after six years in the job, admitting “it’s hard to let go”.
“It’s been fantastic to be a part of it,” he added. “The festival’s got stronger and stronger every year. It’s definitely in safe hands now. It was nice to see so many people – around 7-800. There was a real community spirit.”
Heidi added: “I was speaking to a neighbour on Marigold Drive, who was amazed by the number of people going in, but didn’t seem to leave.”
Inside the community hall, the carnival featured the 50-strong Langlee Community Choir singing everything from Verdi to Mama Mia, while outside children played on the climbing wall, bouncy castle, and there was face painting and birds of prey.
The Focus Centre and Langlee Community Centre both contributed £1,500 each to the carnival, and the £4,000 raised on Saturday “is going straight back into next year’s festival,” Mr Moss said.
The top three winners of the family fancy dress prizes went to, the Wilsons as Peter Pan (first prize, a £20 MacDonald’s voucher); second, the Turnbull family as ‘The Soapstars’ (2nd prize, a meal voucher from Langlee’s chip shop); and third, the Queshi family dressed as ice-creams (3rd prize, a meal voucher for Langlee’s chinese restaurant).
The winners of the picture competition to capture the spirit of the carnival went to – in the Primary 1-3 class – 1st Olivia Davidson, 2nd Rhianna Hughes, 3rd Anna Pastuszko, and – in the Primary 4-7 category – 1st Amy Brown, 2nd Ellie Brown, and 3rd Hannah Bradley.
“This is my first year as chairperson,” Heidi said, “and I’m still on a high. My husband could have strung me up, I was that excited. We had a hard act to follow.”