Auchinstarry to host festival fundraisers

Flashback to last year's inaugural event in June.
Flashback to last year's inaugural event in June.

There will be no re-run of the Auchinstarry Community Festival this year, but that’s only because the organisers are determined to make the 2019 event an even bigger success.

Since last year’s inaugural festival work has been ongoing to ensure local people are fully involved in the organisation, and in future it could be run as a social enterprise venture.

The event was launched last summer as a new, family friendly festival to commemorate the life of Chris Odell, who after working at Auchinstarry Marina for 14 years sadly passed away in 2016 after a short battle with cancer.

Chris was a strong believer in local community and had always hoped to create an event that would bring together the boating community with local communities in Croy, Kilsyth and further afield to enjoy the Marina as he did.

This year the festival concept is still very much alive, but the event itself is on hold while the organisers plan the best way of ensuring it delivers the best results for the local community on a long term basis.

A spokesman said: “This will allow community members to have a direct say in any benefits, monetary or otherwise, that may come from the festival (and other work we hope to do) in the coming years.

“However, given the complexities and legalities of company registration this will need more careful planning to get right.”

Last year’s festival is said to have been a “very expensive” project costing thousands to stage - but showed its worth by generating cash for charities.

For this and other reasons linked to the aim of broadening the initial scope of the festival the event won’t take place this summer, and will begin in its new form from next year.

However that doesn’t mean there will be no festival-related activity this year, because apart from the organisational work there will be fundraising events throughout this year and into early 2019.

These haven’t been confirmed, but could include a quiz night, a race night, and music gigs.

The organiser’s spokesman said: “We hope folk can get on board with what we’re trying to do and understand the need to take our time over planning in order to get it right.

“This isn’t driven by the potential for profits, it’s driven by a desire to create a high quality event that will benefit the community to the fullest extent”.