AS THE people of Musselburgh will be fully aware, the Musselburgh Festival is in full swing this week.

The festival week brings the community together to celebrate the traditions of the Honest Toun and for all ages to take part in social and sporting activities.

On Sunday, I attended the Kirkin’ of the Honest Lad and Honest Lass, and the Sashing ceremony on the banks of the River Esk.

My congratulations to Honest Lad Aidan McLaren and Honest Lass Ellen Brown; I am sure they will be great ambassadors for Musselburgh and I hope they enjoy their week.

Many communities across East Lothian celebrate their own local traditions during the summer and we should be rightly proud that our history and traditions are kept alive.

Despite the changes in the way we live and work, local festivals have remained an important part of our shared identity.

East Lothian Courier: Colin Beattie MSPColin Beattie MSP

It is a great opportunity for the generations to mix together, friendships to be reignited and for former residents to come home and be reminded of where they come from and take pride in it.

While there are still plenty of activities taking place in our communities, many of the traditional events are over for another year.

However, I encourage you to check out what is on in your neighbouring communities.

If you are under 22 in Scotland, you are entitled to free bus travel, which has been a great help during the cost-of-living crisis. August will give you the opportunity to check out the mindboggling options to suit all tastes at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

There are still plenty of weeks of summer ahead to enjoy!

Finally, I would like to recognise all those involved in organising another Musselburgh Festival week that is full of varied activities.

My thanks are extended to all members of our communities in East Lothian who are committed to organising festivals, gala events and fairs; it takes a significant amount of commitment all-year round to bring these events together.

Your efforts bring such benefit to the community and should be commended.