Victoria Week promises to be special occasion!

'Queen Victoria' and friends are looking forward to another fun-filled event in Ballater.
'Queen Victoria' and friends are looking forward to another fun-filled event in Ballater.

Preparations are already under way for Ballater Victoria Week 2012, which plans to celebrate its Silver Jubilee this year with a host of exciting and special events for all from Saturday August 4 to Sunday 12.

The annual event was initiated in 1987 to commemorate the 150th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s accession and to raise money for the Victoria and Albert Halls.

Twenty five years down the line, residents of and visitors to the pretty Deeside village are still being invited to “Be Amused”, in the same year our present monarch celebrates 60 years on the throne.

New events suggested for 2012 include a Victorian photo studio with local photographer Amy Muir, complemented by a VW 1987 exhibition from the Ballater History Group; a hot-air balloon ascent, an antiques fair, tennis tournament and tea dance.

It is hoped the Sunday parade will be enhanced by a decorated wheelbarrow competition and the pub-going public will be catered for by a new Sideburn Festival, featuring comedy and music nights.

Organisers are in no doubt that after last year’s fantastic display, the scarecrow competition will attract even more entries, as householders, businesses and societies vie for the coveted prizes.

The popular pet show will run again with a designated arena to control the mayhem.

Esteemed clairvoyant Maureen Smith has been booked for Friday, August 10 while the duck race has been moved to the second Sunday. Film-goers of all ages will be delighted by a showing of this summer’s blockbuster animation from Pixar – Brave, featuring the voice of Billy Connelly. There are also plans to repeat Lady Jennifer’s Picnic, with a visit from Aboyne Hip Hop Juniors; the children’s potted sports will have an Olympic theme, and the family/youth discos will be repeated. Beastie Boys, Bon Jovi and Bananarama fans should take note – they will be invited to get their (VW!) medallions, mullets and leg-warmers out for a special Back to ’87 boogie!

Alongside these highlights, there are all the old favourites of ghost tours, book fair, messy play, 4x4 safaris, walks, ranger events, bowls, putting, a craft fair and the car boot sale. Musical events will be led by the Ballater Songsters and Upper Deeside Music.

A 48-page full-colour Silver Jubilee souvenir brochure is already being laid out and advertising spaces are being snapped up. If you would like to advertise your business, call Cat on 013397 55243 or email publicity@ballatervictoriaweek.co.uk. Any businesses interested in sponsoring individual events or prizes, ensuring maximum exposure for their products and services, should also get in touch.

As well as providing a fun-filled week of events for locals and visitors of all ages, profits from Ballater Victoria Week benefit a range of local organisations and charities, with a dozen groups sharing £6,000 in 2011.

To enable this to continue more volunteers to share the load and provide fresh ideas are always welcome. You can come and show what you’ve got at the VW committee’s regular meetings every second Wednesday in the Victoria and Albert Halls or call 013397 55018 or 55243 or email info@ballatervictoriaweek.co.uk

More information about BVW can be found at the website www.ballatervictoriaweek.co.uk or you can find the event on Facebook.