Wild West Fest Weekend

by Elizabeth Atia -

Here in Shetland they often say west is best, and this weekend certainly did not disappoint with the sun shining brightly down on the first Wild West Fest Weekend in Skeld!

This fundraising event, organized by a team of volunteers led by Sharon Deyell for the Skeld Public Hall and the Reawick and District Boating Club, featured a jam packed weekend of wild west fun kicking off on the Friday evening with a GTL disco.

Saturday afternoon was a Family Fun Day and so my husband and I donned our best wild west fancy dress and took the kids for a look-see.

What a spree!

The Skeld hall was decked out in a Wild West theme, with American flags, red, white and blue bunting, tablecloths with elaborate hand-assembled western centrepieces, authentic wild west signs directing visitors to the various sideshows, and artful country and western themed displays. The atmosphere was festive and toes were tapping!

There was plenty on offer to eat - teas, coffees and plenty of home bakes. The ice cream was flowing from the Mr. Stripey ice cream van much to the delight of the children, the Sizzle Sisters burger van was churning out burgers left right and centre, bright pink candy floss was spinning in a sugary cloud and there a BBQ complete with an entire pig's leg donated by a member of the community.

To drink, the tavern offered kegs of Lerwick Brewery IPA ale and their new Tushkar oatmeal stout and the saloon was serving up a whole host of other drinks.

Entertainment included live music and the very talented Shetland Western line dancers. Face painting was available for the children, as were the sideshows and games. My children were delighted to win plenty of prizes, and with bellies full of cake and ice cream they had big smiles on their faces.

The line dancing show was absolutely splendid, and cowboys and girls were invited up to have a go themselves under the expert guidance of the caller. One gentleman, dressed up like a cactus, kept turning the wrong way during the steps and was playfully chastised by an older woman. We grinned, clapped and toe tapped throughout the whole performance.

Live music played in the saloon and we watched small children dance and sway to the melodies coming from the fiddles, banjo and guitars. A perfect soundtrack to a wild western afternoon with the summer sun streaming in through the windows.

All in all it was a fantastic way to spend an afternoon with the family - the community spirit was evident in the smiles and feedback the hosts were receiving. We haven't had so much fun on a Saturday afternoon in a long time!

One by one guests headed home to freshen up before returning for the evening entertainment hoe down with May & Mackie - one of Shetland's most popular musical duos.

This afternoon, on Sunday, the Reverend Brian Dobby will lead a Songs of Praise session in the hall, starting at 2 pm.

We finished our sunny afternoon off with a walk on the picturesque Reawick Beach. A perfect Shetland summer's day.

Posted in: Community