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Queen Mary helps stuff Kinross coffers

Horse skills from the Clanranald riders.
Horse skills from the Clanranald riders.

The Mary Queen of Scots Festival is likely to have had a “considerable” impact on the local economy, organisers believe.

Thousands of visitors poured into Kinross at the weekend to take part in the two-day extravaganza.

Linking in with Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017, the festival featured a live jousting event and a recreation of Queen Mary’s court.

Thomas Moffat, of organisers It’s Not All Black and White, said thousands of people had attended each day.

“The hotels were full and people were coming from all over,” he said. “When people come into the centre of town they visit the local cafes, bars and shops, so the economic impact is likely to have been significant.

Left to right Zane McKendry (aged 10), Finlay Johnston (aged 5) and brother Harris Johnston (aged 9) from Cairneyhill Primary School visited the Mary Queen of Scots festival.

“It’s been really, really busy, which is absolutely fantastic. It was well above out expectations.

“It was a lovely day on Saturday, which obviously helped, and we had a really good programme – the music tent was fantastic, we had a really good offering of food and drink and the medieval re-enactments were all very well attended. It all fell into place this year.”

He added that the success of the 2017 festival was likely to help secure it for next year.

The festival saw nearby Balado Microlight Academy launch a series of leisure flights across the region.

The festival and flights part of a larger bid to capitalise on the area’s links to the queen.

Left to right Kat Harvey, Harry Brown and Denise Peacock (all from Clanranald Trust for Scotland).

The idea was suggested to Academy owner Keith Edwards by Graham Hadley, of Mary Queen of Scots Enterprises, which has trademarked the queen’s image and is featuring in to a vatiety of products from whisky to fudge to shortbread.

The first product in the line-up was a blended whisky, made from 12 malts, each of 12 year old to reflect the 12 years in total that Mary Queen of Scots spent in Scotland.

Mary Queen of Scots was imprisoned at Loch Leven Castle for almost a year, until her escape on May 2 1568. There she miscarried twins and, just days later, was forced to renounce her throne in favour of her infant son James VI.

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