Marymass 2017 is shaping up to be the biggest and best yet.

Already this year’s parade is bigger than in previous years with more floats and bands taking part.

Festivities are already underway with the usual pre-Marymass Saturday events happening all over the town throughout the week.

On Thursday, August 24, there will be Nasad Lawn Bowls Championships at Irvine Park Bowling Club from 10.30am until 2.30pm.

Irvine Burns Club will be hosting its usual tour of the Wellwood Centre, but this year will also be staging a unique exhibition from the collection of more than 300 letters of acceptance of Honorary Members of the club from 1828 onwards, including John Galt, Charles Dickens, Sir Sean Connery, Jack Nicklaus amongst many others.

The Dear Mister Burns exhibition takes place at the Wellwood Burns Centre in Eglinton Street from 2pm-5pm on Thursday and Friday.

On Friday there will also be the annual Harbourside Heritage Walk guided by Irvine Lassies Burns Club meeting from 2pm at the Pilot House.

The parade sets off at 9.30am from Golffields Road before entering Bank Street at 9.50am and going on to Eglinton Street at 10am.

From there it carries on through toThornhouse Avenue at 10.15am before travelling down Clark Drive then entering Stewart Drive at 10.40am.

From there the parade leaves Turf Corner 11.25am travelling back passed Bank Street at 11.30am and on to Old East Road and stopping at Townhead.

Andy Tremble from Irvine Carters’ said: “This year’s parade is going to be really good.

We have six bands taking part whereas last year there were four. The floats are are shaping up to be great too, with groups like the British Legion getting involved to commemorate World War One.”

The Crowning of Marymass Queen Elect Payton McGrath takes place at 11.45am and spectators can enjoy music from the Greenwood Academy Choir who will be performing during the Crowning Ceremony.

The Woodlands Centre on Kilwinning Road will be hosting a Marymass Festival Saturday Bash from 11am til 3pm which will include music, food and a bird’s eye view of the parade as it makes its way to the Moor.

The parade will then move out to Irvine Moor at 12.30pm, arriving at around 1pm where all the afternoon’s activities will kick off.

Come along with the family to enjoy the fairground rides, food and drink stalls, the legendary Greasy Pole and the oldest horse race meeting in Scotland and the whole day will be played out to the background of the Irvine Beat FM’s Marymass Roadshow.

Irvine Youth Forum will be at the moor hosting a range of activities including a silent disco and keepy uppys, colouring in and a quiz, with prizes.

Medieval reenactment group Battle Scar will once again travel from Inverness to put on a spectacular show as well as performing a guard of honour for the Marymass Royal Party and a display of cooking and weaponry.

Andy Tremble said: “The group were a huge success last year so we wanted to get them involved again this year and they were keen to come back.”

But the fun doesn’t stop after the Moor’s activities. The Volunteer Rooms in High Street will be hosting the annual Marymass Saturday Night Folk Concert from 7.30pm until midnight.

Tickets are £15 and include performances from Celine Donoghue and Neil Sturgeon as well as The Four A’s and other Festival Guests.

This will be followed by the After Concert Singaround from Midnight onwards.

If comedy is more your thing there is the Sidesplitters Marymass Special in the Harbour Arts Centre from 8pm.

Tickets are £6 and include performances from Micky Bartlet, Steven Buchanan, Jamie Dalgeish and Ray Bradshaw as compere.