The Highland Games make their long-awaited return to North Berwick

North Berwick is preparing to host the town’s Highland Games again, three years after the show was last able to take place.

The North Berwick Highland Games were first held in 1996 and were due to mark their 25th anniversary in 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic hit.

The games will now celebrate their 25th edition when the action kicks off at Recreation Park next Saturday (August 6) for what is shaping up to be the “biggest and best day yet”.

John Starr, chairman of North Berwick Highland Games, was delighted to see the fun returning.

He said: “After a two-year hiatus due to the pandemic, we are pleased to resume running the event for North Berwick and the county.

“We are doing everything we can to make it as successful as possible this year.

“It would have been the 27th anniversary but, after the last two years, it will be our 25th games, so it’s a big event for us and it’s huge for the city and the county in particular.

“Bands come from all over the world to come to North Berwick and most of them come back every year.

“We’re just crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s to make it as big of a success as possible.

“The games will be fun for all ages; we have pipe bands, highland dancers, heavy events, you have stalls, crafts and beer outlets so there is something going on for anyone who wants to come.”

The event will bring together pipe bands from all over the world, as well as some of the best athletes from the “heavyweight events”, and 15,000 visitors are expected.

Across the pitch, traditional Highland sports, such as throwing the caber and throwing the traditional wooden-handled Scottish hammer, will be the highlights of the day’s athletic endeavors.

In the south west corner of the exhibition, Scottish Official Highland Dancing Association (SOHDA) Highland dancers of various age groups will show off their skills, performing many different dances ranging from the Highland Fling, Seann Truibhas, Strathspey and Reel at the Sailor’s Hornpipe. .

In addition to the traditional events, there will be a variety of other activities to entertain families throughout the day.

Around the grounds there will be a large selection of craft and trade stalls, with plenty of options for food and drink, while fairground rides will be located throughout the site to keep the youngsters entertained.

Visitors will also be able to attend a demonstration by members of the

Lammermoor Stick Dressing Society, as well as a static display of the Armed Forces.

At the end of the afternoon, all the pipe bands will take part in a parade in the arena, where they will salute the leader of the day.

This year the Provost of East Lothian, John McMillan, will assume the honor of Chief, with his wife Mary as Deputy.

Mr McMillan said: ‘I am truly honored to be appointed Chief again.

“The Highland Games are an incredible day for everyone.

“They are perfect for preserving our international and national links around the world.

“Economically, anything that brings visitors to the county has an obvious impact; all of these things have an effect on whether people visit East Lothian.

“My role is to promote the county and provide personal support for the event as provost.

“I feel very proud and moved, with a big thank you to the organizers who made sure it continued, with a great committee.”

After the trophies are presented, the bagpipes end the afternoon with the Grade 1 winning band playing them off the field.

To end the day, a selection of pipers will perform on Quality Street, along with dancers from the Highlands and the Gospel Choir North Berwick.

Games start at 9:30 a.m. and end at 4:30 p.m. Admission is £10 for adults, £5 for children or £25 for a family ticket.

Tickets for the event can be purchased at ticketsource.co.uk/north-berwick-highland-games


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Jennifer R. Strohm