Fife Provost Jim Leishman took to the skies on Wednesday as he opened this year’s Links Market.
He was one of the thousands of people that flocked to Kirkcaldy’s Promenade to welcome the start of the six-day carnival.
After cutting the ribbon he was ushered onboard the “Air” ride, a pendulum that slingshots occupants 100ft in the air, all while spinning them from side to side.
Speaking afterwards, he said that the Links Market continued to play a huge part of life in Fife, more than 700 years after it started.
“That was fantastic,” he said stepping off the ride.
“Great fun and really exciting. The Links Market is huge for Fife and for Kirkcaldy. You think about the great events we have here, like The Open Championship in St Andrews and the Links Market in Kirkcaldy.
“There is all of the history and tradition that comes with this being the oldest street fair in Europe, and when you see it along the seafront it is beautiful to see.”
Joining Mr Leishman for the opening was local MSP David Torrance, who added: “The market makes a huge contribution to the local economy so I just hope the weather stays good and as many people come out as possible.”
The return of the market will not have been welcomed by everyone, with motorists reporting long delays as a consequence of diversions put in place in the west end of the town.
With the Esplanade closed between Charlotte Street and the Morrisons intersection, drivers are being diverted via Nicol Street, Abbotshall Road and Pratt Street, though some are also cutting along Links Street in a bid to beat the jams.
Rab O’Donnell, secretary of the Linktown Tenants’ and Residents’ Association, said that the annual delays were something that many locals had become accustomed to.
“From my experience it is not something that many people tend to complain about,” he said.
“The Links Market only happens once a year and it is something for the kids to enjoy.
“People accept that there are going to be traffic jams now. It’s a part of life.
“You get the odd chancer but most people seem to just get on with it.”