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Highland Games enthusiasts invited to enjoy online celebration

By Alan Beresford

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COVID-19 may have put paid to this summer's round of Highland Games, but a special online event this Saturday is looking to celebrate what is traditionally the last weekend of the games calendar.

Memories of past Highland Games will feature in Saturday's Virtual Highland Games. Picture: Paul Tomkins/VisitScotland
Memories of past Highland Games will feature in Saturday's Virtual Highland Games. Picture: Paul Tomkins/VisitScotland

VisitAberdeenshire and Braemar Royal Highland Society, organiser of the Braemar Gathering, will be encouraging Highland games enthusiasts to tune in to Virtual Highland Games Day and share memories of games gone by in a special virtual event this weekend.

With visitors missing out on Highland games events across Scotland and around the world, organisers of the Braemar Gathering hosted a socially distanced and behind closed doors competition last month.

The Braemar Gathering’s Facebook channel will broadcast events in a day of scheduled content, ranging from piping and dancing to the ‘heavies’ competition, featuring competitors from the recent Netflix series ‘Home Game.’

This event was one of the only competitive Highland games events that took place this season, and was supported by The Duke of Rothesay (as The Prince of Wales is known when in Scotland), patron of the Scottish Highland Games Association (SHGA).

Dr James Milne CBE, chairman and managing director of Balmoral Group, was also honoured as a Braemar Royal Highland Society Honoured Life Member on the day. The Duke of Rothesay attended the spectator-free event and unfurled the flag at the Braemar showground.

VisitAberdeenshire is urging people to engage with the virtual celebration of Highland Games.

Chris Foy, CEO, VisitAberdeenshire, said: “Highland Games events are a huge draw for visitors to the region and have been sorely missed this year.

"However, Virtual Highland Games Day is the opportunity to enjoy the history and tradition of the games. The footage captured from the Braemar event will give viewers a taste of what a visitor can expect to experience.

“Virtual Highland Games Day is also an opportunity to take part in your own games at home.

“Tag @visitabdn on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter and use #virtualhighlandgames – we’d love to see our followers pledge a visit to a Highland games in 2021, wear some tartan or even host a mini-Highland games event at home. We hope that generating some buzz and excitement around the Highland games will encourage visitors to return to Scotland next year.”

Virtual Highland Games Day is supported by Aberdeenshire Council, VisitAberdeenshire and Event Scotland. For more information, check out https://www.visitabdn.com/virtual-highland-games

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