Free family fun activities have been lined up for this year's Marymass opening ceremony as excitement builds ahead of the official launch.

The official opening ceremony of the 12 day community festival takes place this Thursday, August 15 with free events taking place outside the Townhouse and Portal and the Global Village Market running from 10am - 9pm.

From 7.30pm, kids can enjoy free face painting and grab some funky balloon art from the balloon modelling team whilst the adults can enjoy live music and entertainment on stage.

Then, from 9.30pm, Marymass 2019 is officially opened.

Provost Ian Clarkson will say a few words before the sashing of the new Queen and Mary’s, with the announcement of Captain of Irvine Carters’ Society at around 9.45pm.

A spokesperson for the Marymass Festival Committee said; “We want to make the Opening Ceremony more of a family friendly event.

“Free activities such as balloon modelling and face painting is a great way to entertain the kids without spending a penny.

“With the Global Village Market also on in Bridgegate until 9pm and some shops open until 8pm, there will certainly be plenty to see and do!”

The operators of the Marymass market said: "Market Place Europe is honoured to have been invited to attend the fantastic Marymass Festival in Irvine for the first time this August.

"We will be bringing a taste of the continental to the festival with traders from across the world  including Italian, Spanish, German, Ecuadorean, Greek and French showcasing fantastic street food, arts and crafts,  Swarovski Crystal, Silver jewellry confectionary, fresh foods olives, baklava, chillies, Breads, Tarts, Viennoiserie all baked fresh on site.

"The location for the market is Bridgegate and we must thank the Rivergate Shopping Centre and North Ayrshire Council for their help and support."