Gala’s scarecrow trail could be UK’s longest

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Imaginations are running wild on Mull and Iona in readiness for what could be the UK’s longest scarecrow trail.

A scuba diver popping out ping pong balls as bubbles, a Tour de Mull cyclist,  legs sticking out of a cement mixer, a fake police officer with a radar gun and a skeletal bride waiting for her perfect man – were among last year’s entries ramping up the creative challenge for 2018.

Most trails wind their way round villages, but the one starting at Tioran in Ardmeanach ends about 20 miles away on Iona, says retired teacher Jack Degnan, who is one of a small committee responsible for organising the event.

The scarecrow trails, which are launched tomorrow, July 20, mark the beginning of two weeks of fun and entertainment as part of this year’s Ross of Mull and Iona Gala.

Now in its fourth year, the gala is growing in popularity with islanders and visitors alike.

So far there are 48 scarecrows in the line-up, with entries from schools, hotels, pubs and ‘ordinary folk’, said Mr Degnan who lives in Bunessan.

‘Pretty pick-ups, tarted-up trucks and trailers and lovely lorries,’ will be joining the gala’s float parade which sets off through Fionnphort at 7pm on July 20, said Mr Degnan who is hoping spectators will get into the party mood and come in fancy dress. Children’s entertainers Funky Chicken will be there from the afternoon onwards providing lots of activities for children and grown-ups to do.

The Gala Dance will now be on Saturday night, July 21, at Bunessan Hall, following  the ‘Bunessan Fives’ football competition.

Leading up to the Bunessan Show Dance at the very end of the fortnight, there is something on somewhere in the area almost every day and evening, including a brand-new Mull Theatre production, He’s Done Nothing Wrong, a comedy by George Milne.

Also in Bunessan Hall will be Mary Ann Kennedy  in concert with guitarist Finlay Wells of Oban, launching her new new solo debut album, An Dàn.

Event programmes with details of beach games to craft workshops, wildlife guided walks to dingy races are available now in local shops and businesses.

Daily posts will also be added to the gala’s own Facebook page.