Pageant can’t go home yet

FOR a second year, the Galloway Pageant will be moved from its historic venue in Minnigaff to allow for the re-growth of grass.

The pageant committee were informed recently that due to the wet weather over the winter, the ground at Minnigaff Playing Fields will not be capable of taking an event such as the pageant in 2013.

The park was closed to events and football training to allow the patching works on the grass, and the pageant moved its main celebrations to Douglas Park instead.

Pageant chairwoman Diann Hughes said at a meeting of Cree Valley Community Council, of which she is also a member, on Monday that council officials had told the committee a long-range weather forecast pointed at a wet summer.

She added: “Surely that’s the community’s land, so why can’t we use it?”

Councillor Bob Boan blamed the circus which arrived shortly after the pageant in 2011 for churning up the ground which led to its need for re-seeding.

Around £6000 was spent on the works at the park, and councillor Alistair Geddes said at the meeting: “It’s not right if the circus did this, which has no connection to us as locals. I’d like to hear a firm reason for not allowing the pageant use of the field.”

A council spokesperson said this week: “Minnigaff Playing Field will not be available for the use by the pageant this year.

“Minnigaff football pitch had significant investment to benefit local football teams and clubs last year.

“Given the amount of rain that has fallen in recent times it would be detrimental to the playing field to allow this type of event to take place this year.

“However, our Council will continue to work with the local community and committee in order to look at the different and suitable venues for this event to take place.”