No fewer than 21 of the stunning entries which have made Lanark’s celebrations famous throughout Scotland will take to the streets tomorrow, Lanimer Day.
From early morning there will be a buzz of excitement throughout the town, as children are fitted into costumes, silver and pipe bands assemble ready to take their place in the procession, and the Lord Cornet and his supporters are finally seen off with a “Safe Oot! Safe In!” toast by the provost at the Memorial Hall about 9.40am.
The new Lord Cornet, Gordon Jess, backed by Lanark former Cornets and principals from all over the Borders, then leads off the Lanimer procession from the top of St Leonard Street at 10am.
With eight bands, it will make its presence felt!
On its second circuit of the town, the children are helped down from the lorries and take their places on the stand, then this year’s Lanimer Queen, 12-year-old Kirkfieldbank pupil Morgan Shillan. is led up the steps to her throne beneath the statue of William Wallace for her crowning by Julie Cox. That takes place about 11.30am.
The judges, who this year include STV Live at Five presenters David Farrell and Jennifer Reoch, who is a former Miss Scotland, will by then have made their final decision on the overall winner to receive the Silver Bell Trophy, and all the results will be announced at the Cross.
In the afternoon there is a full programme of family fun in Castlebank Park, while the Cornets set out from Delves Park at 2pm for their Ride Out Afternoon Ride Out, checking the remaining March stones in a route which takes them from Leechford to Whitelees Road, the racecourse, to Hyndford Road, and Robiesland Road.
Back at the Cross, around 4.45pm there will be a presentation to the Lanimer Queen of her portrait, and a gift from the Provost, then the new Lord Cornet will be led in by the massed pipe bands to give his Declaration, as part of the Evening spectacular involving performances by the bands and by a lone piper.
And as the Depute Lord Lieutenant takes the salute and the bands march off, families will be heaving a sigh of relief at the end of events which began at dawn for many youngsters!
But they are back into their costumes again on Friday evening, for the Lanimer Queen’s reception.