Annual Gala Day celebrations are go!

Wednesday is folk night in the Aboukir Hotel and this week was no exception. Getting everyone in the mood are, from left - Andy Coogan, Howard Evans, Jim Duke, Bob Doig and George Stewart.

Wednesday is folk night in the Aboukir Hotel and this week was no exception. Getting everyone in the mood are, from left - Andy Coogan, Howard Evans, Jim Duke, Bob Doig and George Stewart.

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THE ORGANISERS of Carnoustie Gala say the traditional gala day event will go ahead tomorrow (Saturday) despite having to pay policing costs for the first time in its history.

From 1 p.m. tomorrow the annual Gala Day parade will make its way from the Panmure Industrial Estate to Carnoustie House Grounds, where various displays and events will take place for the rest of the afternoon.

However, on hearing that the committee would have to pay Tayside Police to monitor the event, fears were growing in the town that the extravaganza would be cancelled.

But committee members have assured Carnoustie people that Gala Day will go ahead and that the policing costs have been covered by their budget.

Committee member Ed Oswald told the Guide & Gazette: “Myself and Mary Bushnell, chair of the gala committee, have received various ‘phone calls asking us if Gala Day has been cancelled.

“But we want to reassure people that there is nothing in this rumour. It will go ahead.

“There were police costs that we have had to pay but these have been contained within our budget.

“All we have to hope for now is good weather.”

Gala Week kicked off on Saturday and various activities have been taking place in the town through this week.

The first event was a coffee morning in the Philip Hall on Saturday followed by a family fun cycle run on Sunday and various sporting competitions on Monday and Tuesday.

Wednesday night also saw a folk night being held in the Aboukir Hotel.

The theme of this year’s Gala Day is the Olympics so the people of Carnoustie can get into the spirit of the games before they start in London at the end of this month.

And in keeping with the Olympic theme, 95-year-old Olympic torch bearer Andy Coogan will lead the Gala parade through the town.

Last month he carried the Olympic torch through Dundee after being selected for his dedication to athletics.

Mr Coogan was a talented young runner and looked to have a promising athletics career before the outbreak of the Second World War.

During the conflict he was a prisoner of the Japanese for three years and this ruled out an opportunity to compete at the last London Olympic Games in 1948.

But he remained dedicated to athletics by coaching youngsters and competing in veteran athletics events.

And he will carry his torch through Carnoustie to give people the chance to see it, as the town was missed out on the Olympic torch relay route.

Then from 1.45 p.m. in Carnoustie House Grounds, there will be many displays including dancing, dog shows and a pipe band competition.

There will also be a puppet show, jugglers and stilt walkers as well as all the usual stalls.

Twitter: @JenniferNewton1