PEEBLES RED LETTER DAY
The childrens procession, Proclamation, Crowning Ceremony, Grand Procession, Service of Rememberance, Beating of the Retreat.
Saturday is the highlight of the week for all those involved in the Beltane. This is what makes the week worthwhile, - this is why the Committee feels proud after so many hours of work put into bringing the whole event together. This is what the Beltane Queen has been waiting for since she was first told five weeks previously that she was to be the one being crowned. This is the ‘big day’ for the Crowning Lady, but most of all this is the ‘big day’ for the hundreds of school children who have been given costumes to wear with pride when they march down the High Street; stand on the Church steps, watch while the Beltane Queen is being crowned, and then show their enjoyment by waving and cheering from decorated lorries as they parade through the town.
7.00 am All the decorated houses are judged. It is traditional that the shops and the houses of the main principals, plus those of any other members of the public, be decorated to commemorate the Festival Week.
8.30 am Rideout. The early morning Rideout leaves from South Park Industrial Estate and heads out over Cademuir Hill and down through Cademuir Forest before returning in time to join the Grand Procession around 11.15 am at the foot of Springhill Road. (Visiting riders are most welcome.)
9.15am The procession of over five hundred children in costume head down from Halyrude School to the High Street via March Street and the Northgate. The costumes range from fairies, sailors, soldiers, archers and representatives of foreign lands. The procession is led by the Peebles Ex-Servicemens Pipe Band.
9.20 am As the children set off, the Official Party gathers at the Quadrangle and marches to the Mercat Cross, where the Proclamation of Beltane Fair takes place (left). The Chairman presents the Cornet with the Cornet's Medal. The Official Party then views the Children's Procession along the High Street, before being led by the Cornet along to take their places in front of the Parish Church steps. Once seated, the Crowning Lady arrives and is taken to her place at the dais. The Cornet then escorts the Queen's carriage to the Church steps, followed by the Maids' carriage.
10.00am The Crowning lady performs the Coronation of the Beltane Queen, which is followed by the reading of the Beltane Queens Royal Will and Command. The singing of the Beltane Song and the Coronation Ode takes place durng the course of the ceremony. The newly crowned Queen talkes the salute from the Cornet and the Queen, Court, Officials and children all depart for the Grand Procession. Whilst the children are on the parade the Cornet and his supporters head to the south side of town to proclaim the Burgh Bounds.
11.15am The Grand Procession, led by the Cornet, his supporters and mounted followers takes in most of the major town routes. Supported by Peebles Silver Band, Peebles Ex-Servicemens Pipe Band and other pipe, brass and cultural bands, the procession of Queen and Court, Officials and decorated lorries makes its way through the town streets. A copy of the route can be found in the Official Beltane Programme.
1.00pm Immediately after the Grand Procession has passed, The Beltane Queen, Court, Officials and guests retire to the Quadrangle, where a ‘Service of Remembrance’ is held at the County War Memorial. Wreaths will be placed by the newly crowned Queen, other Principals and the Chairman The ‘Lament’ is played by a Piper with the ‘Last Post’ and ‘Reveille’ played by a Bugler.