BROUGHSHANE & District Community Association, in partnership with the Royal Scottish Pipe band Association (County Antrim Branch), launched their plans for the Village Festival programme to be held on 5 June next year, with a Dinner and Cabaret evening last Friday in the Thatch Inn Broughshane.
Mr Sandy Wilson, Chairman of the Broughshane and District Community Association, welcomed representatives from pipe bands, North and South of Ireland, as well as members of the Village Community Group.
Guest of honour was President of the RSPBA and Chairman of the Northern Ireland Branch George Ussher from Ballinderry.
Broughshane Village has won many awards including Garden Village of Ulster in 2002. They have the distinction of having won the 'Britain in Bloom' Gold medal award 5 times, the `Ulster in Bloom' ten times and 'Best Kept Village' award six consecutive times. They also received a commendation award at the Queen Mother's Birthday awards.
President George Ussher gave a brief summary of the history of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, which is 76 years old and boasts a membership of 90,000 from 47 countries worldwide.
The Northern Ireland Branch is also the single largest branch in the Association with a membership of 3,500 representing 97 pipe bands.
George also spoke of his own enthusiasm of the Village Festival, which he said was the most forward thinking weekend to be held in the Pipe band Association.
The entertainment would involve Highland dancers from Glasgow, a vintage car cavalcade and street stalls. The Campers' Association will also be holding their annual rally in the village which will be attended by r camper vans - some coming from Scotland and England.
He also gave the exciting news that two Grade One Scottish bands will be coming to Broughshane. The Vale of Atholl and Strathclyde Police will be travelling over to compete at the competition. Along with Ravara, Ballycoan Bleary & District, Field Marshal Montgomery and St. Laurence O'Toole, this Grade 1 contest promises to be one not to be missed.
In his speech, Sandy Wilson, who will be Chieftain of the Day at the competition, spoke of the plans of the Association for the Village Festival.
It will be held over three days starting on Thursday 3rd June and running through to the Finale on Saturday with the Pipe Band Championships.
All bands will be pleased, he said, to know that the prize money will be increased by 50% and there will be meal vouchers for every band member competing on the day. There will also be £1,000 cash to be divided among bands parading the town at the finish of the competition.
So mark the dates in your diary for next year, for this Village Festival will set the standard for all events in the future.
Killadeas Pipe band from Co. Fermanagh were given a reception by the Council in the Railway Hotel Enniskillen recently to honour their achievements in the pipe band competitions last season.
The band are the proud holders of the 2003 Grade 3A world pipe band championships won in Glasgow last August. They also took top honours in every competition except one, including the All Ireland and Ulster Championships.
They will be opening the St. Andrew's Night Gala in the Ulster Hall on Saturday 29th November when Field Marshal Montgomery and Scottish Power Pipe Bands, along with the Edinburgh Tattoo Highland dancers and compere Billy Forsyth from Fife, will also be on stage.
Don't forget the last Branch meeting of the 2003 year, which will be held on Saturday 29th November in the Bridge Community Centre Lisburn commencing at 2 pm.