COCKENZIE and Port Seton Community Gala is almost here as the village prepares to crown its queen and king for 2023.

This year, Sophie Dick will be crowned Seton Queen and Kail Johnstone Seton King ahead of a fun-packed day for all the family.

The gala returns for the second time since the Covid-19 restrictions halted traditional celebrations in 2020 and 2021.

The gala day takes place next Saturday (May 20) following a week of events.

Unfortunately, as with last year, one of the gala’s much-loved traditions will not return, which has historically seen the gala court take to the sea on local fishing boats.

The tradition saw the Seton Queen and her royal party board the royal barge – a local fishing boat – at Cockenzie Harbour and, with the help of the ‘Royal Navy’, repel an attack from ‘pirates’ before making their way to safety at Port Seton Harbour.

However, the sailings will not take place due to a ruling from the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) which excludes fishing boats from carrying children.

Passenger vessels could be used but none are available on the day of the gala, meaning the age-old tradition cannot go ahead this year.

Gala events

Gala celebrations start on Monday with the football tournament, involving children from nursery to P7, at King George V Park.

On Tuesday, the race competitions take place.

They are open to everyone and take place at King George V Park from 5.30pm.

Entry is £2 per person and includes a sack race, egg and spoon race, three-legged race and a wheelbarrow race.

On Wednesday, the pet show takes place at King George V Park from 6pm to 7.30pm.

The event is open to everyone, with numerous categories including best dog, best cat, best small animal, best hair-do, best trick, funniest animal, most waggy tail, longest whiskers and an overall winner.

Owners are reminded that all pets remain the owners’ responsibility and are not to be left unattended at any time.

Next Thursday (May 18), the gala celebrates hat night at the village bowling club. The event is open to all to give residents the chance to show off their bowling skills.

The event starts at 6pm and is £1 per person, with registration on the night. Teams will be allocated once players have registered and the winners will share the pot.

Next Friday (May 19), the funfair returns to King George V Park from 4pm to 7pm. Ride prices are: bungee £5, big rides £2.50, small rides £2; all are cash only.

On the day of the gala, the celebrations start with the crowning ceremony at Port Seton Community Centre at 12.15pm.

At 1.15pm, a parade then leaves the centre before arriving at the Memorial Garden at 1.40pm, where it pauses for about five minutes.

At this point, the party of children disembark, laying wreathes in the garden.

The parade then continues as the Memorial Green party walks towards Cockenzie to return to the floats.

At 1.45pm, the remaining procession leaves Edinburgh Road, with the floats parking on High Street to allow the walking children to embark once again.

The floats then stop outside Cockenzie and Port Seton Old Parish Church to allow the full parade to clear Edinburgh Road.

At 2.15pm, the fishergirls go to the Thorntree Inn to prepare for their dance, while the rest of the parade continues along High Street.

The fishergirls then perform their dance at 2.20pm. They then return to the float at 2.50pm and the parade continues towards Port Seton Harbour.

At 3.10pm, the procession then leaves Cockenzie via Seton Place, continuing onto Links Road and then Fishers Road. At about 3.30pm, the parade then returns to the community centre.

  • Gala court: Seton Queen: Sophie Dick. Seton King: Kail Johnstone. Maids: Charlie Hoy, Molly Reid, Rosie Wilson, Emily Watson, Gracie Braund, Karolina Petkova. Champion: Jed Veitch. Attendants to pageboys: Sophie Hickman, Sophie Allan-Walker. Pageboys: Ethan Thomas Gibb, Ernie Carpenter, Noah Denholm, Robbie Tierney, Louie Dunlop, Jake Donaldson. Britannia: Grace McIlroy. Spirit of Goodwill: Kayla Sharp. Spirit of the Land: Ebony Clements. Spirit of the Sea: Ellie Halcrow. Miss Poppy: Alex Jamieson. Miss Gold: Kelsey Juner. Miss Silver: Esme Murdoch. Miss Bronze: Tilly Rowley. Heralds: Tyler Burns and Alexander Greig. Standard bearers: Archie Clark and Zach Willison. Attendants to flowergirls: Ava Reid and Jazmine Maclean. Flowergirls: Laila Lumsden, Hannah Ough, Elsie McNeil, Elle Veitch, Blossom Bell, Jessica Aytoun, Lacey Ferguson, Darcie May Murray. Naval officer: Callum Ruthven. Pirate chief: Brad Cochrane. Seasons: Spring, Fearne Hamilton; Summer, Daisy Garrity; Autumn, Belle Gardiner; Winter, Lucy Gall. Countries: Miss Scotland, Rosie Lindsay; Miss England, Sophie-Rose Grilli; Miss Ireland, Leah Gibb; Miss Wales, Orla Johnston. Sailor: Riley Juner. Pirate: Aiden Juner. Fishergirls: Isabella Mitchell, Millie Dryburgh, Esme Mitchell, Jessica Mullany, Orla McMath, Freya Johnston, Juno Swanson, Abbie Lumsden, Hallie Hislop, Ellie Woods, Grace Fallon, Lexie Robinson.