Events - be inspired to experience something unique to Rousay
Together, well over 200 people have maintained a strong community spirit here on Rousay, started thousands of years ago by our ancestors, and exemplified by the holding of several community events throughout the year. There are also many community groups and activities on the island.
Rousay Regatta & Watersports & Raft Race
Every summer, Rousay hosts a Regatta and Watersports, which raises money for the important RNLI charity.
Sailors bring their yachts along, taking part in the sailing challenge which kicks off the day's activities.
Watersports continue throughout the afternoon, including the highly-anticipated Raft Race. The race sees a number of local teams build their own rafts, going from Rousay Pier to Wyre Pier, and immediately returning back to Rousay Pier. Spectators watch the rafts from the piers, or on board the M.V. Eynhallow ferry, which follows the rafts. Great effort is made to create interesting rafts which have followed a variety of themes over the years - including: Shrek; Vikings; Wacky Races...the possibilities each year are endless, and much of the excitement is in discovering how creative the teams have been!
Activities continue on throughout the evening at The Pier Bar.
The Rousay Lap, a 13.1-mile Half-Marathon
Every August, the Rousay, Egilsay and Wyre Development Trust holds a half-marathon, the Rousay Lap. Following the tarmaced, circular route around the island, the lap spans a total of 13.1 miles, and you are invited to run, walk or cycle the route.
Although many of the locals take part, participants also come from the rest of the Orkney Islands, and even further afield.
For more information, or if you are interested in taking part, go here.
In recent years, a 'roadside competition' has been held over the summer months. Locals are invited to make something out of any kind of materials they choose, following a named theme. Competition themes have included 'Vikings', 'Ponies', and 'The Olympics'. Voting is then open to visitors to the island, if they would like to. Voters are asked to choose a winning entry in both the Children and Adult categories.
The Rousay Show
The Rousay Horticultural Society Show occurs annually, and features a range of categories, including: Baking; Dairy & Preserves; Flowers; Handicrafts; Textile Crafts; and Vegetables & Fruit. There is also a special Children's Section, as well as categories exlusively for Visiting Children and Visiting Adults.
And not forgetting the popular 'Tattie-in-a-Bucket' competition; buckets and seed potatoes are handed out in the spring each year, and buckets are emptied and weighed on the day of the Show, in August.
A prize-giving ceremony is held after the judging. At the end, the 'District Shield' is awarded to the district which gained the most points overall in the Show.
Bonfire Night & Fireworks
Rousay Community Association organises many events on the island throughout the year. For example, the group organises Rousay's annual Fireworks Display on 5 November.
The group also organises two dances each year - the Burns' Supper and Dance (held in January, celebrating the life of the Scottish poet, Robert Burns); and the Harvest Home (celebrating the end of the year's harvests).
Come along for some dancing to traditional music played by local musicians!
Many more regular and one-off events are held on Rousay - to see what's happening next, as well as for confirmed dates and venues for events detailed above, view the regularly updated, local What's On calendar.