The Ballantrae Smugglers’ Festival keeps Ballantrae's 18th and 19th century smuggling history alive. It has been in existence for 5 years now and every year we do something different to re-tell our stories.
In 2018 the Festival was sponsored by SCOTMID and Carrick Futures / Ballantrae Community Council Community Benefit Fund. Our partners were The Ayrshire Rural Touring Network, Adventure Carrick, The King’s Arms Hotel, and Craigiemains Home & Garden Centre.
The Festival programme included two productions arranged by the Ayrshire Rural Touring Network. One was a family friendly murder mystery written especially for us by Kenny Boyle of “Can You Catch the Killer” and based on a local story, the other was “McDougall’s Treasure Hunt” with amazing characters and sing-along songs for the young audience.
A “Smugglers’ Supper” in the King’s Arms Hotel was accompanied by live music from two superb local musicians - the Wah Wahs.
On “Smugglers’ Sunday” which ran alongside the August Farmers’ Market, the family “Contraband Challenge” included families from Glasgow, Halifax and Italy, cracking treasure hunt clues before paddling out into Ballantrae Bay to recover the contraband! We also had a number of fund-raising games and activities for children and adults.
To round off the festival, the children of Ballantrae Primary School produced a video entitled “Ballantrae Smugglers - What’s the Story” using pictures from previous festivals to tell the story.
The Smugglers’ Festival is taking a break in 2019. But we’ll be back soon!