Most are organised and run by key enthusiastic members of the community, and some draw larger crowds than others – the marina repeatedly accommodates over 100 visiting vessels for the Seafood and Music Festivals, so we always advise early arrival to secure a berth for these.
Organised by Clyde Cruising Club, and sponsored by Silvers Marine, this prestigious annual yacht racing competition is one of the largest in the UK, and attracts competing crews from across the country. Shore-side entertainment, and a bustling atmosphere in all the pubs, makes it a fun-filled weekend for sailors and spectators alike – and a great way to kick off the season! Follow it here.
A true veneration of the wonderful fresh produce we are surrounded by here, this two-day event is a firm favourite with the locals, and enjoyed by all ages. Harbour Street becomes a hive of activity; lined with stalls offering local delicacies, live music, and even cookery demonstrations and competitions at the fish quay. Children are kept easily entertained with the fancy dress parade, crowning of the Seafood Queen and her princesses, and marvel at the local business’ window displays – all pertaining to a theme.
Don’t miss ‘Beer on the Pier’ on Sunday, with live music and dancing all afternoon. More Information
This festival spans across Lochgilphead, Ardrishig, and Portavadie, as well as Tarbert – which is rich in Viking history. Every second year, fancy dress and merriment are the order of the village and everyone is welcome and encouraged to participate!
Our resident Vikings re-enact the steps of Magnus Barefoot in 1093, carrying the Viking long-ship (hand crafted by locals) in procession from West Loch to East Loch.
Battle re-enactments take place at the castle, as well as archery lessons, skirmishes, stalls and music, and the recreation area transforms into a mock Viking village demonstrating historic techniques and crafts. The evening sees more music and dancing, fireworks and a spectacular display of shooting fire arrows.
Flag-decorated traditional boats fill the marina for the weekend, having sailed in from all over the UK. Take a stroll along the pontoons to admire their finery and read about their history, before heading to the recreation area for refreshments, traditional crafts and perhaps a shot at the ‘Greasy-Pole’ competition! This makes a pleasant family day out, and a free community BBQ and live music take place in the marquee in the evening.
Featuring on the festival calendar for decades, the full music programme attracts tourists to the village from far and wide.
Award-winning bands Skipinnish and Manran have headlined the Quay in the past, while a wide range of musicians take stage in the hotels, pubs and restaurants across the weekend, creating a vibrant, buzzing atmosphere.
Relatively new to the programme in 2016 were Feis an Tairbeirt, who provided traditional music and dance tuition to 8-18 year olds. Their involvement will continue, adding to the variety of the event.
Hailing back to the Cattle Market days, this long standing fair has been whirling into town since 1705.
This hugely successful event boasts some of the most stunning running routes in the UK, as voted for by Runners World Magazine readers!
For the literary minded – meet famous authors, listen to readings, attend signings or even compete in the writing competition.
Carole singers bring in the festive cheers as the village lights are switched on, and Tarbert Arts and Leisure Centre (TALC) hosts craft stalls, refreshments and Santa’s Grotto. Local shops also open late.
Tarbert is host to a wide variety of festivals and events every year, each with its own charm and personality, and all celebrating different elements of local culture.