VOLUNTEERS were hailed as the key to the success of Piping At Forres and six-year-old Euan Ralph met 80-year-old Charlie Gaskin at the event - the pair being the youngest and oldest volunteers there.
Charlie, who was helping out for his fifth year in a row, said: "I came to the first one as a spectator and thoroughly enjoyed it and decided that I would like to help out the following year. It’s important to get involved in your local community and it’s been a great way to meet lots of people."
Euan volunteered through Alves Primary School, whose pupils were given the task of carrying placards to announce the bands as they march into the arena at the end of the day for the prize giving. The youngster, who is going into Primary 2 after the holidays, visited the event with his mum Onagh Brady.
She said: "This is an amazing experience for him. He is hoping to learn how to play the bagpipes so it’s great that he’s been able to get involved."
Over 400 Piping At Forres supporters were invited to a party held at the Chieftain’s Marquee in Grant Park on the day after the event, which featured local youth singing group Rising Stars singing specially commissioned song ‘Flowers of Forres’.
Celebrations had a youth theme as Piping At Forres has been celebrating Scotland’s Year of Young People.
Director of organisers Forres Events Limited, Joanna Taylor, thought the party was a fitting end.
She said: "This was a great way to finish off what has been a tremendous six years for the town. It was important to the organising committee, who are all volunteers themselves, to give something back to all those who have supported Piping At Forres. The event simply would not have worked in the wonderful way that it has were it not for the dedication of the volunteers."
Guests were served afternoon tea and the two hour celebrations ended with a performance from lone piper, 21-year old Scott Burgess Hay.
Each year around 120 volunteers have supported Piping At Forres.
Volunteer co-ordinator, Sandra MacIver, explained: "They are proud of the town and wanted to be associated with a first class event which would put it to the forefront of many people’s minds."