By Natalie Miller (@nataliemiller_x)
TamFest Day of the Dead Procession workshops got underway in Ayr at the old Watt Brothers store yesterday. The workshops invite children along to create masks, decorate umbrellas and make giant willow skeletons, along with many more crafts.
TamFest has run for a number of years now, and helps Ayr attract visitors in the Halloween month of October. Day of the Dead Procession is a new idea created by Glass Artist Leona Stewart, who is the organiser of the workshops that this year’s festival provide for. It delves into the cultural aspect from Mexico, as well as Ayrshire’s cultural history in Robert Burns’ famous poem ‘Tam o’Shanter’.
TamFest Organiser, Leona Stewart, said: “The workshops have been well attended for just starting yesterday, kids have being enjoying the umbrella decorating and mask making workshops the most.
“We work with Ayrshire Youth Arts Network and the council to get the funding with help we may need.”
Hallowe’en is celebrated widely in Ayrshire as children go out trick-or -treating at the end of the month. Children see it as dressing up and having fun by creating their costumes. These workshops explore that creative side, something that they might not get to do at school.
Along with holding the workshops, TamFest will be holding numerous events for three straight days at the end of the month. There will be art exhibitions, zombie bike riders, a gothic alternative Scotland show at the Gaiety theatre and Karen Dunbar – who is a well-known Scottish Comedian – will be performing an act to the famous Tam o’Shanter poem.
The TamFest takeover will then lead up to the Day of Dead Procession at Ayr high street. Everyone is welcome to come along and join in, and you can dress up and be as creative as you want.
Leona Stewart highlighted the importance of the event to the local area when she said: “It is about bringing people back to Ayr for the cultural and arts aspect. The community of Ayr coming together and back to the high street is also being encouraged. We look forward to the upcoming weeks and I hope more people come along to take part and put their creativity into what they make at the workshops”.