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Dancing at Anster’s Harbour an Enjoyable Event

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The 24th Dunedin International Folk Dance Festival came to Anstruther, and to say “a good time was had by all” would be an understatement.  A wonderfully enthusiastic and appreciative audience began to assemble early to welcome the dancers as they marched down from The Waid Academy.  Additional photos are in an album under the “photo” section of the Anstruther.Info Facebook page. 

The dance groups  from Croatia and The Balearic Island of Majorca joined with Scottish country dancers to perform on the town’s harbourfront folly amidst colourful traditional costumes and folk music performed live.
 
Croatia’s Varazdin Folk Dance Ensemble and Majorca’s Balladors des Raiguer joined with the Dunedin Dancers,  Edinburgh University New Scotland Dancers, and the Kinfauns Step Dancers (whose specialty is traditional Shetland  “clogging” style of dance) in demonstrations of the lively dances that are native and traditional to each country.
 
The Croatian dance group drew laughter from the audience as one or two of the dances relayed tales representing the relationship between men and women, husbands and wives, with the women dancers wagging a finger at the abashed-looking men dancers to  “chastise” them for some infraction or other.  All was well, though, as couples happily strode off at the end of each dance.  Toward the end of their dance set, the Croatian dancers took onlookers onto the folly to dance with them with some very easy to follow dance steps.
 
The group from Majorca performed dances that  are specific to the Raiguer region of Majorca, and the costumes of oversized pantaloons on the men, and long, full skirts with aprons for the women, are based styles worn from the eighteenth century to the beginning of the twentieth century.  Headscarves were worn by the majority, and the women’s dress especially was similar to what a Scottish “fisher” woman  would have worn at that time.
 
Both the Croatians and Majorcans danced to live performances of traditional music, and both groups were created to protect, save, and perform their traditional cultures, music, folk song, and dances while wearing authentic,  traditional costumes. 
 
Scotland’s music and dance traditions were well represented, as The City of St. Andrews Pipe Band escorted the dancers to the harbour-front, and then entertained the crowds.  The Scottish dance groups then took to the cobbles, with soft-shoe stepping as well as a hard-soled shoe clogging.
 
Despite a few rain drops falling at one point, the performance ended under clear evening skies. Dancers from all the groups AND the audience onlookers finished the evening by joining  together to dance in a ceilidh that was easy-going and relaxed, but lively and definitely Scottish! 
 
The award-winning, and internationally known Anstruther Fish Bar, provided traditional fish suppers to all the performers – who by the end of the event, had worked up an appetite!  
 
This visit to Anstruther was sponsored by the Anstruther, Cellardyke and Kilrenny Community Council, with additional donations from The Spindrift Guest House, and Bill and Beth Kennaway.
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DANCE INVASION  ON ANSTRUTHER  FOLLY!!

Dancers from Scotland, Croatia and Majorca will be stepping out on the Anstruther harbour-front “folly”  — and inviting onlookers to join in the lively footwork — on Thursday,  July 20, beginning at 4 pm.

The 24th Dunedin International Folk Dance Festival will be coming to Anstruther – the first time such a visit will be made.

Scottish country dance group favourites performing  are the Dunedin Dancers,  Edinburgh University New Scotland Dancers, and the Kinfauns Step Dancers (whose specialty is the traditional Shetland and “clogging” style of dance).

Croatia’s Varazdin Folk Dance Ensemble was formed in 1998 to protect, save and perform Croatian traditional culture, folk dances,  songs and music – all performed to live music in authentic, hand-made traditional costumes.

Majorca’s Balladors des Raiguer is a newer (formed in 2015) but no less talented group of musicians and dancers who have sharpened their musical skills by performing in other groups.

Like the group from Croatia, they are also tasked with protecting and preserving  aspects of the  traditional culture of the “Raiguer” region of Majorca.  Dances performed are from this specific region of the island, and costumes imitate those of the eighteenth century until the beginning of the twentieth century.

Anstruther’s  dance festival begins at 4pm at The Waid as The City of St. Andrews Pipe Band escorts the dance groups down to the folly, and then gives a brief performance.  Thereafter, each dance group takes to the stage to perform for 35 minutes.

Opening dance performers will be the Dunedin Dancers and the Edinburgh University New Scotland Dancers.  They are followed by the Kinfauns Step Dancers,  Croatia’s Varazdin Folk Dance Ensemble,  and Majorca’s Balladors des Raiguer Dancers.

Concluding the evening will be a ceilidh whereby on-lookers are invited dance along with the dance group members, and gentle guidance will be given to enable everybody  to  try some simple country dances under the summer skies that night.

In the event of rain, the event will be held at the Anstruther Town Hall. This visit to Anstruther is sponsored by the Anstruther, Cellardyke and Kilrenny Community Council , with additional donations from The Spindrift Guest House, and Bill and Beth Kennaway.

The Folk Dance Festival is making a tour of Scotland, and in addition to Anstruther, will be visiting Edinburgh, Perth, The Falkirk Wheel and The Kelpies, and Stirling Castle.

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Garden of Oz Successfully Opens!

Under bright sunny skies on Wednesday, July 5, the Garden of Oz at Ladywalk (around from the nursing home, next to the East Neuk Centre building) had an enjoyable turn-out for its’ unveiling.  A variety of photos can be viewed on Facebook if you missed the festivities!

The Garden is a safe, enclosed area (no kids running into traffic!) with a rainbow-painted seating bench, bubble-gum-pink tree stump chairs for little ones, an Emerald City hands-on board for little ones to play with and make noise with, and colourfully painted flower pots hung on a wall. The Garden is overseen by a Tin Man (who DOES have a heart!!) and the Scarecrow who wanted a brain.  Flowers make for a colourful area and wee ones can play on the grass and make new friends.

The young members of the Tuesday Task Force worked on the project over several months, carefully planning the design, raising and soliciting money to fund the Garden, and the result is imaginative, shows hard work and creativity, and will appeal to all ages. “Dorothy” and “Toto made guest appearances yesterday — Dorothy wearing her red sparkly heels! — and gave a thumbs-and-paws-up to the final result.

Support from Anstruther and Celladyke in Bloom, East Neuk Centre Trust and the Community Council was provided, along with support from Tesco, who was represented by “Elaine”.  Pat Lawson, 2017 Anstruther Citizen of the Year and Alex Sutherland, youth worker with Fife Council, were an integral part of this whole project, providing support and guidance to the youth group as their idea — a very welcome addition to the community life of Anstruther — became a reality.

AFTERNOTE:  Unfortunately, some mild vandalism occurred in the garden overnight, and the police are now investigating. Straw from the Scarecrow was pulled out,  the head of the Tin Man was knocked off, and some trampling took place.  As this is a COMMUNITY garden for the especial use and enjoyment by KIDS,  information about this vandalism would be appreciated and should be called into the police or emailing information to the Anstruther Community Council,  or mailing ACC c/o Pets Pantry in the High Street, Anstruther.

 

 

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Wizard of Oz Garden Unveiling Wed, July 5, 2pm

A Wizard of Oz-themed garden will be unveiled Wednesday, July 5, at 2pm. All are invited, and refreshments will be served.  PLEASE COME AND SUPPORT THIS YOUTH GROUP AND ENJOY THE GARDEN SPACE!!

Over the last few months, a group of young people have used imagination, hard work and creativity to transform this space into a flower-filled, colourful, and enjoyable space for the community. A rainbow-painted bench, Tin Man (yes, with a heart!), wee-kids’ sized chairs, yellow-paved road, and more create a safe, serene and enjoyable garden space.

The Garden is at East Neuk Centre building (around the corner from Ladywalk Nursing Home), at the corner of Ladywalk & Union Place.

This has been made possible with a lot of work from the young people, support from Anstruther and Celladyke in Bloom, East Neuk Centre Trust and the Community Council.

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Anstruther Town Hall

Now the public library has relocated to the New school the area in the Town Hall it occupied will revert back to its old name LOWER TOWN HALL. It will be available for hire for community use through the EAST NEUK CENTRE TRUST.  

For the first three weeks, the Anstruther Community Kist will be using the hall to sell books and CD’s to raise money for local causes.

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Get your free Anster info bag & raffle tickets at Festival

FREE East Neuk information bags will be handed out to visitors over weekend at the Anstruther Harbour Festival…booklets, brochures, flyers, information about places to eat, things to see/do, things to buy, where to go, local services, more…make sure you get one!! ALSO — raffle tickets are now on sale, take a chance of winning meals, event entry vouchers, jewellery, even an overnight with breakfast for two people at the fabulous Spindrift Guest House!!

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Anster Harbour Festival THIS Weekend! Come & have fun!

Anstruther’s Harbour Festival is all set to go, with two marquees out on the harbour front, entertainment and activities all set throughout the weekend, and an “order” for a weekend of sunshine hopefully being fulfilled.

TONIGHT,  the  City of St. Andrews Pipe Band marches from the Waid Academy to the harbour front, where they’ll do a brief performance before marching back to the Waid. The Dunedin Scottish Dancers then “step in” and “kick off”  the evening with their fancy footwork in the middle pier marquee, followed by a ceilidh with music by Nackytoosh.  A  bar on the spot will recharge dancers who work up a thirst before returning to the dance floor.

SATURDAY and SUNDAY are both full days of music, food, arts & crafts, Classic boats, model boats, kayaking in the harbour, the Scottish Fisheries Museum Open Day, a kids junior disco, Jamie the Jester, facepainting, nightly dances, and more.  There  will be plenty of activities and entertainment to attract all ages and interests.  For a detailed day-by-day schedule and event list, visit www.anstrutherharbourfestival.co.uk, and keep an eye on our Facebook page for updates.

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Crafts, Artists & Artisans Wanted!!

Crafts people wanted!! Table space at Anstruther Harbour Festival, Sunday May 28, available (limited basis)….jewellery, textiles, soft goods, food products, artwork, photographs, clothing & accessories, decorative items, kids things, hand-knit and hand-sewn items are all welcomed! For info, call Gail Sorley, AHF Secretary at 01333-310063 or email harbourfest2017@aol.com for booking forms and more information.

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