THERE is guaranteed to be a big splash in the Forth on Sunday when up to 1100 New Year’s Day revellers are expected to take part in the Loony Dook.
Registration for the The Loony Dook, now part of Edinburgh’s Hogmanay celebrations, has been ongoing for weeks but the maximum entry level has now been attained.
Members of the public are also being reminded that the annual event, now in its 26th year, will be staged at 11am instead of midday due to tidal conditions.
With the earlier start time, the High Street area will be busy with tourists and locals alike all vying for a suitable vantage point. But for those none too concerned on waiting for the spectacle to begin, there is the added bonus that several of the town’s pubs will open from 9am to welcome in the New Year’s Day event.
The city council’s licensing board granted a special extension of licensing hours to Ferry pubs, a one-off, to accommodate the influx of visitors to the town.
Queensferry’s Loony Dook liaison person David Steel said: “This is building up to be the biggest Dook yet with the maximum of 1100 registered entrants reached although we are still getting daily enquiries asking if there are spaces left. There is also a huge amount of interest from people just wanting to come and watch.”
In years gone by, many dookers decided took to the water at the last minute creating congestion and health and safety concerns. Steps have since been take to limit the number gatecrashers through organised stewarding, Mr Steel added: “ I just hope that people will respect what the stewards and police advise. Gatecrashers is an issue which could potentially cause trouble for the stewards and the police.
A charity event, dookers raise funds for the charity of their choice while a donation of the registration fee after costs for stewarding and policing the event, is made to the local RNLI. A street collection for the RNLI is also staged on the day and last year’s event saw around £1000 raised.
*For those taking part in the Loony Dook, registration will take place at the RNLI lifeboat station at the Hawes Pier between 9am and 10.30am. The parade will assemble in the Hawes Promenade and move off to the Boathouse Steps at 11am. Parking restrictions will be in force with the High Street closed to traffic from 10am to 1pm, from The Loan to the Two Bridges public house.