Although nervous about his speech, Melrosian Sam Thomson said it was not the most daunting part of appointment night on Friday.
Instead, the traditional spin round the Market Cross, on the shoulders of his right and left-hand men, proved the most nerve-wracking for Sam.
“It was a grand night, really good, although I was a bit nervous standing on the stage before my speech”, he said.
“But the scariest part of the night was being carried round the Market Cross three times. I didn’t feel too steady!”
The whole evening was well supported, and Sam was delighted to see so many friends and family in the audience at the Corn Exchange.
“It was good to see a few other principals from other Border towns there too,” he added.
During the evening the Festival Queen was announced as local primary school pupil Zoe Palmer.
Her court includes first attendant Erin Hogg, second attendant Katy Watters, courtiers Michael Ferguson and Callum Weston, heralds Thomas Billet and Matthew Pender, and trainbearers Lucy Cathrow and Cara Davidson.
Sam said: “I’ve had quite a few ex-Melrosians giving me advice, the main thing being just to take my time and enjoy it all, because it goes in a flash.”
New festival chairman James Marjoribanks led the proceedings.
He said: “The evening was a great success, and thoroughly enjoyed by everybody, and Sam Thomson is a very popular choice as Melrosian.”