DESPITE the downpours nothing was going to rain on the 40th Largs Viking Festival parade on Saturday.

It was a spectacular start as the colourful parade through the town centre sparked a cacophony of noise from the roar of the Vikings to the tooting of classic car horns.

Local groups taking part included Largs Players, Clyde Coastal Rowers, Largs Colts, Boys' Brigade, Largs Town Twinning Association, Largs Community Resilience Team and the Girls' Brigade.

Brass bands and the Largs BB pipe band made sure there was some musical accompaniment and North Ayrshire Provost Ian Clarkson was given a warm welcome by the Vikings as he officially opened this year's festivities on Largs esplanade.

There were plenty of dignitaries present, including Lady Hunter of Hunterston, who opened the festival last year, MP and MSP Patricia and Kenneth Gibson and North Ayrshire Council chief executive Craig Hatton, as well as elected North Ayrshire councillors and Largs Community Council members.

Largs veterans also played their part with 99-year-old Jack Ransom and John Hutchinson, both of Royal British Legion Scotland (Largs) branch, given roles.

The festival is now gearing up for its busy second week, with the Haakon Hakonsson Lecture on Thursday evening at 7.30pm at the Vallhalladrome Theatre at the Vikingar with guest speaker Dr Adrian Maldonado on ‘The Year 1000: Vikings and the Making of Scotland’

On Saturday at 3pm, the Mark Jeffries Air Display will take to the skies above Largs Esplanade, followed by the traditional Viking Festival of Fire with battle re-enactment and fireworks at Broomfields from 8 till 9.15pm.

For full schedule details, head to our website.

Photos: Charlie Gilmour.