Support Us

Nithraid 2017: Coos, clowns and Vikings!

September 9th saw our fifth staging of Nithraid, a fun family event that takes place on and around the river. The daring sailing race, starting from the Solway Firth and sailing up the river Nith was made possible by one of the highest tides of the year. While waiting for the boats to arrive, visitors and families were invited over to The Mill Green to enjoy food, live music on a hand built stage, art activities and Viking fights!

Our lovely Project Manager for Nithraid, Sal Cuddihy, was delighted with how the day went and both her and everyone at the Stove would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who was involved in Nithraid 2017 – whether you were working, volunteering or just came along to cheer on the sailors. This was our biggest and most successful Nithraid yet, and it wouldn’t have been possible without those who supported the event.


Nithraid is created and produced by The Stove Network and is part of our mission to make creative opportunities for local people to be involved in the future of Dumfries. This year, we had a total of 15 boats take part in the sailing race, with all boats carrying a small cargo which was delivered into the town to complete the race. This year’s winner was David Sleggs who was joined on his boat, ‘Scottish Bluebells’, by Paul Sleggs, and won the race with their sailing dingy.

Visitors to Nithraid were treated to an afternoon of great local food and fun family activities. Local music acts played throughout the day on a hand built stage by emerging artists Blueprint100. Amongst the acts were Kate Kyle, Isla Gracie, Colin James and Stoney Broke. Burgers, hotdogs and drinks were provided by Craig Patterson of Catering Plus, and professional up-cycler, Rose Hall, hosted a workshop on creating bags for life using t-shirts. This year, Nithraid also had a Viking theme, with Longfada Viking Group staging a re-enactment which interpreted the lives of people living by the river around 1000 years ago. Wordsmithcrafts, another Viking themed group, was working with other local groups from the area encouraging ‘have a go’ activities for all the family.


For the first time, Nithraid also continued into the evening for ‘Nithraid Night Time’. Visitors to Nithraid were invited back in the evening for vegan stew, film screenings, campfires and music provided by local musicians, Fraser Clark and Stuart Macpherson.

Nithraid-night-time- Galina Walls 3
Image credit: Galina Walls

A large crowd of people also joined in with the legendary Salty Coo procession, starting from The Stove on the High Street and finishing at the Mill Green, and were treated to this year’s fun and exciting parade from the ‘Moo Coo Collective’, led by Leo Marsh, Jimmy Russell and Agne Zdanaviciute; a group of young artists living in Dumfries.


This year, Nithraid was kindly sponsored by the People’s Project. The People’s Project is a non-profit organisation which was set up in 2008 by Mark Jardine to rekindle the meaning of community in Dumfries and Galloway. The project aims to encourage acts of kindness across the region of Dumfries and Galloway through numerous projects and events. Nithraid was also generously supported by Holywood Trust, Barfil Trust and many local businesses.


For more information and photos from this year’s Nithraid, please visit or visit the Nithraid Facebook page!

Skip to content