Local News for Friday 21st June 2017

Biggest weekend of Lewis year
The biggest weekend of the summer promises a town buzzing with activity and the sun shining down on events today and tomorrow, with the 22nd Hebridean Celtic Festival just the largest of a number of events hosting visitors. Two days of music, street theatre, fringe activities and performance are promised, with HebCelt bringing bands from Canada, Ireland and all across the UK to the stages of the main arena on the Castle Green. Headliners Imelda May and The Waterboys will be preceded by a parade of talent, including the home-grown variety, and there are community events in the town and further afield, Tarbert seeing island favourites Na h-Oganaich tonight.

Among visitors from near and far who’ve arrived in Stornoway this week is a Chinese journalist who is taking in HebCelt as part of a visit to the Outer Hebrides to explore the Celtic culture. Hailyu Zhang, who works in Beijing and his home town of Kunming, writes on travel and cultural issues and is a regular visitor to film and music festivals around the world. His interest in Celtic music and dance has recently seen him travel to Brittany, Ireland and Nova Scotia before arriving in Stornoway to attend this year's HebCelt. He said: "I've been learning that different instruments are used in different areas, but there is nowhere that Celtic music is played without the fiddle. There are many styles of music in these places and I want to learn more about Celtic music in Scotland. Also, I've been speaking to local people about their lifestyle and what makes HebCelt so popular."

In the town centre tomorrow, Stornoway RNLI lifeboat station holds its annual fundraising funday, with the family 5k setting off from the town centre at 11am. Lifeboat crew members will battle it out against other emergency services in the annual tug of war, and there’ll be music and activities around the harbour from 12 noon. At the Bayhead pitch in the afternoon Lewis Camanachd take on Uist in the annual Hebridean Celtic Festival shinty cup match, and there are fringe events in clubs, pubs and hotels across the town.

Meanwhile Saturday also sees the annual Lochs Show at the show ground at Laxay, this year being opened by Sanjeev Kohli. The show offers all the familiar attractions, including the draw for the winner of a new car for which raffle tickets are still available. There’s a dance after the show and curry and chilli available in between for those who don’t want to go home at all.

Charity match tickets on sale
Tickets go on sale on Monday for a charity fundraising football match between Lewis and Harris Select and Ross County, planned for August 4th at the Goathill Pitch to raise funds for Bethesda. There’s to be an evening buffet and auction at the Caladh Hotel after the match.

And there’s football tonight in the Lewis and Harris League, with Ness at home to Aths, Lochs hosting Point, Back at Goathill Park to meet Stornoway United, and Carloway welcoming Westside, with just one point between them at the top of the league and all to play for.