THE first key dates for the 2023 Marymass Festival have been revealed.

The historic Irvine event has been taking place in the town for nearly centuries dating back to the Middle Ages.

It returned last year for the first time since 2019 due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

And with the 2023 event now slowly approaching, organisers have confirmed some dates for your diary.

Marymass 2023 will begin on Thursday, August 17, when the traditional opening ceremony will take place.

The fortnight of events will then continue on until Monday August 28.

Other key event dates have also been revealed already with the Carters' Fourth Port Parade, Festival of Light and fireworks all to take place on Saturday, August 19.

On Saturday, August 26, Marymass Saturday returns with the annual horse-drawn parade followed by racing and a day of family fun on Irvine Moor.

Further information is still to be revealed over the coming months, including the announcement of the Marymass royals, with plenty of entertaining family events to be expected.

Other Irvine favourites include the Marymass funfair, the 10k road race, the dog show and of course the Marymass derby between Irvine Meadow and Irvine Victoria - with dates to be confirmed in due course.

New family events and jousting joined the line up last year - however, insurance issues meant that the famous "greasy pole" event was unable to take place, and it's not yet clear whether this will return in 2023.

With little over 80 days until events commence, we think it's time to get excited!