Ballater Highland Games canceled for second consecutive year

The Ballater Highland Games have been canceled “with a heavy heart” for a second consecutive year due to the pandemic.

The annual celebration of traditional Scottish culture and competition, which has taken place since 1864, was due to take place on August 12.

However, tonight the games committee announced the decision to postpone the event to 2022.

The annual event features all kinds of traditional competitions. Photo: Scott Baxter

Although many restrictions are being eased across Scotland, event officials said the future still remains “very uncertain” and raised concerns about any restrictions that may be in place in August.

This is the latest Highland Games event to be canceled in Deeside, following similar news from event organizers Aboyne and Braemar.

The games are always held in Monaltrie Park, Ballater. Photo: Scott Baxter

The last cancellation

John Sinclair, Chairman of the Ballater Highland Games, said: “With heavy hearts, the Ballater Highland Games Committee has decided once again to cancel this year’s Ballater Highland Games.

“Although things are starting to look a lot more normal, it is still unclear what restrictions and guidelines will be in place in August in relation to Covid-19 and social distancing.

“Also, our local community is our priority and we want to keep everyone as safe as possible.

“We look forward to welcoming you back on Thursday, August 11, 2022.”

The day of what would have been the physical Ballater Highland Games of 2020 was marked by a digital event.

The Duke of Rothesay raised the standard on what would have been the big day to mark the occasion.

It has not yet been confirmed if similar initiatives will take place this year.

Earlier this month, war hero Captain Alwyne Farquharson revealed he would be stepping down as head of the Ballater Highland Games after 73 years in the role.

The title will be passed from Captain Farquharson to his 40-year-old great-nephew Philip Farquharson on May 1, his 102nd birthday.

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[Ballater Highland Games cancelled for second year in a row]

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Jennifer R. Strohm