Arbory parish’s annual Laa Columb Killey celebration is set to take place on Friday (June 28) as it enters its 112th year.

Based at the school field opposite Arbory School in Ballabeg, this year’s event will be run in its traditional form and will include ‘fun activities for all the family’.

Laa Columb Killey means St Columba’s Day - otherwise known as the ‘day of the church of St Columba’.

Arbory Church is dedicated to St Columba, and originally a service to commemorate his death in 597 was followed by games and rejoicing in the churchyard.

Since 1912, the festivities have taken the form of a celebration in Arbory that includes a fancy dress procession, opening ceremony, Manx country dancing, afternoon tea, sports, entertainment, exhibitions and a ceilidh.

This year’s activities will begin at 9am with a ‘Victorian’ fancy dress competition and judging at Arbory School.

The traditional parade through the parish will be led by Castletown Metropolitan Silver Band, and gets under way at 2.30pm from Ballabeg Parish Hall. The procession will then arrive at the fair field for the official opening ceremony at 2.45pm.

The opening ceremony will include the crowning of the ‘Arbory festival princess’, as well as a Manx dancing display from students at Arbory School.

Exhibition tents will then open at 3pm following the ceremony, and will showcase a variety of vegetables, flowers, handicrafts and artwork.

The field attractions will then also be available, which will include a bouncy castle, coconut shy, ice creams, hot dogs, craft stalls, henna tattoos, face paintings, raffles and vintage cars - all accompanied by music from Castletown Silver Band.

Children’s sports will begin at 4pm, swiftly followed by family sports and adult races.

A ‘paracise’ session will then take place at 5.30pm, hosted by Lizzy Main from the stage. The paracise class will ‘combine elements of dance, pilates, and gentle movements to improve flexibility, strength, and overall well-being’, and is suitable for all levels of fitness.

Following the paracise, an auction of donated exhibits will take place at 6:30pm from which all proceeds will go to charity.

The day’s festivities will then finally come to an end with the traditional family ceilidh inside the tea tent from 7pm until 9pm.

This year’s Laa Columb Killey will be sponsored by island housing developer Hartford Homes.

Commenting on social media, a spokesperson from Hartford Homes said: ‘We’re delighted to announce our sponsorship of this long-standing community celebration in Arbory.

‘The festival has been an important part of village life in and around Ballabeg and Colby for over a century, allowing residents to come together and enjoy traditional Manx dancing, sports races, and fancy dress competitions.

‘Many of the activities involve children from Arbory Primary School, plus exhibitions, bouncy castles, craft stalls and more to keep the whole family entertained.

‘All of us at Hartford Homes are enormously proud to support this vital and vibrant event, and we are particularly pleased that our support this year will ensure the festival continues to be a highlight of the Arbory community calendar.’