REVELLERS will be raising their glasses later this month as a popular beer and music festival returns to Houston.

The event at the Fox and Hounds pub, in South Street, will take place on Saturday, May 28, from noon onwards.

Husband-and-wife team Graeme and Karen Finnie, who took over at the historic watering hole in 2020, are looking forward to reviving the festival after a three-year absence caused by the Covid pandemic.

Karen, 51, told The Gazette: “The beer festival hasn’t been running since May 2019 and everybody has been asking us about it, so we wanted to bring it back with a bang.

“There will be a road closure on the day, as there will be a big marquee and outside beer bar, with a nominal fee of £3 to get in.

The Gazette: Chart stars Hue and Cry are among the music acts bookedChart stars Hue and Cry are among the music acts booked

“It’s not a ticketed event, so it’ll be ‘first come, first served.’

“I think one year we had between 3,500 and 4,000 people at the festival. You find that people generally turn up around 12pm and are still there at 10pm.”

Among the live music acts booked for the event are chart stars Hue And Cry, along with Republic of Soul and Drums N’ Roses, while DJ Fraser McIsaac will be spinning tunes throughout the day.

Parents-of-three Graeme and Karen, who have lived in Houston for most of their lives and also run the Carriages pub in Kilmacolm, are hoping the festival’s return will help to bring the local community together after a challenging couple of years.

Graeme, 52, said: “The last two years have been really tough, as we got into hospitality at what was completely the wrong time.

The Gazette: Graeme and Karen are looking forward to the festivalGraeme and Karen are looking forward to the festival

“However, we are both very passionate about the venues we run and have invested quite heavily in them since we took over.”

Despite the upheaval, the Fox and Hounds has recently been nominated for several awards, as well as being crowned Renfrewshire’s best pub in this year’s National Pub and Bar Awards.

Karen, who quit her job as a pharmacist to run the two pubs full-time, said: “We have absolutely superb staff and customers always get a good welcome, so people just want to keep coming back.”

Graeme added: “We get a lot of reviews that specifically reference the friendliness of our staff, so we’ve been very lucky with that.”

For more information about the festival, call 01505 808604.