GUID Nychburris Day is usually one of the biggest days of the year for Dumfries with thousands coming out to celebrate.
But today it will be different with no celebrations, horses, floats and streets eerily quiet.
The event was cancelled in March due to Covid-19 and the health, safety and well-being of the community. The Guid Nychburris executive committee had discussed the possibility of hosting some virtual activities through social media but eventually unanimously agreed these will not go ahead.
Chairman of the festival association John Caskie, said: “Disappointing and sad as that is, we feel we are following Scottish government advice and being consistent with our initial decision to cancel for the reasons given. Likewise the Guid Nychburris executive committee will not be participating, supporting or promoting any local events that are being arranged throughout the community.”
John added: “Like all in our community, and visitors alike, myself and the executive committee are really sad and disappointed that Guid Nychburris won’t be taking place this year. We do, however, hope that the situation in the country regarding Covid-19 will be beaten and we can then focus on preparing for 2021 with a bigger and better GN Festival to suit all.”
Principals for this year had already been selected before it was cancelled and those who were chosen have been invited to undertake their positions in 2021 instead. Cornet Elect Ross Findlater stated his disappointment that he won’t get to fulfil his role in this year’s festivities but hopes next year the event can be “bigger and better”. Ross said: “The traditions of our town are dear to our hearts but we must act responsibly and consider the health and safety of the townsfolk during this pandemic. I look forward to taking the role on next year and hopefully it will be bigger and better.”
Cornet’s Lass Elect Robyn Peden has taken part in Guid Nychburris from a very young age. She added: “It has always been my dream to be a Cornet’s Lass. I work in the NHS and therefore completely understand all the reasons why Guid Nychburris can’t go ahead this year. I look forward to 2021 when I will be able to carry out my duties supported by the whole Guid Nychburris community.”
North West Community Campus (NWCC) fourth year pupil Kady Kirkpatrick was chosen as the Queen of the South for 2020 but has agreed to undertake the role next year. Kady – who will become the first Queen of the South chosen from NWCC – added: “We have planned to decorate the garden and have a family lockdown barbecue to mark the occasion. “I am looking forward to taking up my role as Queen of the South elect 2021 and celebrating the occasion with the town of Dumfries.
“I am sure the wait until Guid Nychburris next year will be worth it. Let’s hope the sun shines.”