The Isle of Bute has a fantastic range of annual events to suit all tastes. Now that I have lived on the island for a year I have had the chance to experience many of them for myself. An eclectic mix of outings has seen me dance along the streets in a Jazz brollie march, admire some vintage tractors, pat award winning donkeys and listen to the vibrant tunes played by a group of marching pipers. There are some events I didn’t manage to make this year and look forward to visiting next time including the Tee in the Port music festival.
One event that I got a glimpse of and was disappointed that I couldn’t stay for the full thing was the Vintage Tractor Rally. The brightly coloured vehicles had started to gather on the promenade as I headed towards the ferry for a trip to the mainland. With more than one hundred tractors taking part along with some classic cars I can only imagine the spectacle as they headed around the island.
As the autumn/winter events approach I thought it was a good time to reflect back on some of my highlights from the year so far and hopefully give you some ideas for next year.
Bute Jazz Festival
Spring truly begins on Bute when the sounds of live Jazz drift from open doorways in venues around the island on the first weekend of May. Established acts and young musicians gather on Bute to entertain enthusiastic audiences. The highlight of the event is the Jazz parade through Rothesay with music, dancing and lots of brightly coloured brollies. I challenge you not to join in! www.butejazz.com
Bute Agricultural Society Show
If you are an animal lover like me then the agricultural show will easily keep you entertained for hours. Cows, sheep and horses of various breeds, shapes and sizes are proudly on show, all looking to win a coveted rosette. Add in donkeys, chickens, rabbits, cats and various dog shows and demonstrations and there is something for all ages and a great family day out.
Bute Highland Games
Probably the highlight for most locals and visitors is the Highland Games. With many of the elements you would expect including pipe bands, highland dancers, heavy events, wrestling and a road race there is plenty to keep everyone entertained. This is a very popular event with a formal opening ceremony and the day concluding with the pipe bands marching down the High Street. www.butehighlandgames.org
These are just a few of the events that take place on Bute throughout the spring and summer. Now as autumn approaches I look forward to bicycles racing up and down the island, aeroplane displays flying over the island and following a studio art trail around the island. Bute has something interesting to offer all year round, to get some inspiration check out the events section on the VisitBute website.