Aboyne Highland Games set for return in August

Crowds watch the massed groups at the start of the 2019 Aboyne Highland Games. (Photo: Harry Scott (Deeside Camera Club))

The traditional Royal Deeside event, which attracts up to 10,000 visitors, will take place on Saturday 6 August. It will be the first time since 2019 that the games have taken place, having been canceled for the past two years due to the coronavirus pandemic. .

Aboyne Green will come to life on the first Saturday in August with a packed program of 95 traditional events. With Highland dancing, pipe and fiddle competitions, pipe bands, light and heavy sports, tug of war and a hill climb, the event is popular with locals and visitors alike, including many overseas.

Aboyne Highland Games kicks off the Highland Games season on Royal Deeside and injects around £450,000 into the local economy. As well as supporting local shops, cafes and accommodation providers, the games host around 80 trade booths, providing a platform for local artisans and food producers to showcase their wares.

Visitors will also have the opportunity to explore their ancestry and learn about the history of certain Scottish clans in the popular Clan Village. While a funfair, featuring a range of rides and entertainment, will ensure visitors of all ages are entertained.

Although Aboyne Highland Games has not taken place for the past two years, the musical spirit of the event has endured as organizers have moved the bagpipe and solo fiddle competitions online. Virtual competitions provided a stage for musicians to continue competing despite the cancellation of all Highland Games and several other music competitions. It proved popular, with more pipers and fiddlers submitting entries than in recent years to the games, and musicians from around the world taking part.

Alistair Grant, Chairman of Aboyne Highland Games, said: “We are delighted to announce the return of Aboyne Highland Games for 2022. The event means a lot to the local community, and we are grateful for all the support they testify to us. After a three-year absence, the role of the games as a gathering place where people can reunite with family and friends will be more important than ever.

“This August marks the 155th anniversary of the crowds gathering on Aboyne Green for the first Aboyne Highland Games, so it will be great to welcome visitors back to the games on this anniversary. After two years during which we have hosted online competitions, seeing and hearing all the action on Aboyne Green this year will be fantastic.

The Highland Games help maintain and encourage interest in Scotland’s history, heritage, music, dance and sportsmanship. They provide a training ground for future talent, with opportunities for young pipers, dancers, runners and athletes to hone their skills. It is important to help preserve these traditions and opportunities, whether as a visitor or competitor, and I encourage people to come out and support the Highland Games this season and have a fantastic day out that the whole family can enjoy. .

The Aboyne Highland Games 2022 will take place on Saturday 6th August on the Village Green, Aboyne. Organizers will continue to monitor the latest coronavirus guidelines over the coming months and will implement all relevant protocols on the day of the event.

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Jennifer R. Strohm