LONGSIDE Gala certainly impressed the crowds this year with well hundreds turning up over the four-day event.
Strong supporter of the gala and local councillor Norman Smith said it was a huge success and increasing the age limit was definitely the way forward.
“It was a great weekend overall. The numbers were down which we expected due to some of the events being strictly over 18, but the atmosphere was totally different and much better than it has previously been,” he said.
“The reaction we’ve been getting so far has been hugely positive and a lot of people have said if we keep the age limit up they’ll be sure to return for next year’s gala.
“At the moment we’re not sure financially if we’ve made or lost money, but with the changes we are prepared to make a loss.”
Grampian Police strongly supported the changes to this year’s gala, after numerous problems with underage drinking at last year’s event.
Mr Smith continued: “The police did a marvellous job and we are very grateful of the support they offered, they did what they said they would do and we had no problems whatsoever. I believe they checked some of the youngsters for alcohol as well, and as far as I’m aware there was no trouble at all in the village - a big change from last year.
“The youngsters who were underage were not allowed in the surrounding perimeter at all which meant there was no-one hanging about outside.
“We did lose a banner in Mintlaw which isn’t a major problem, if that’s the only problem we have to deal with then we can’t complain!”
Folk who went along to the Gala were required to pay a £2 fee and were given a raffle ticket in return.
There are still some unclaimed prizes including orange tickets numbered 8, 26, 100, 155, 185 and 190 and also blue tickets numbered 6, 51, 83, 104 and 270.
Anyone with the aforementioned tickets are asked to contact Mr Smith on 01779 821744.
Mr Smith added: “This year’s gala proved a point that making it over 18s is certainly the way forward. All of the eventwere thoroughly enjoyed including the band, “Burlesque”, which entertained the crowd on Thursday they were exceptionally good.
“Myself and all of the committee members would like to extend our thanks to everyone who was involved with the Gala, we have a lot of sponsors and local support and everyone put in a great effort this year to make it a huge success.”