Loch Lomond Highland Games Draws Crowds from across the Globe
Thousands of visitors descended on Balloch last weekend (18th July) for the annual Loch Lomond Highland Games.
The event went ahead in the sunshine despite concerns about the weather in the run up to Saturday, and was deemed a huge success.
Nine thousand people including residents and visitors from as far afield as Italy, France Belgium, China and Canada attended the event in Moss o’Balloch Park where they enjoyed displays from international heavyweights as well as Highland dancing, piping and the traditional tossing the caber and tug-of-war competitions.
England’s Scott Rider won the Scottish Highland Games Association’s World Heavyweight Championships after showing off his might at the event.
West Dunbartonshire Provost Douglas McAllister, said: “A huge amount of work goes into planning this event every year and the only thing that cannot be accounted for is the weather. Thankfully the rain didn’t dampen the event. It was a fantastic day and was enjoyed by residents of all ages from across West Dunbartonshire as well as visitors from much further afield. Well done to both the Games’ committee and West Dunbartonshire Leisure on organizing yet another hugely successful event.”
Chieftain of the Loch Lomond Highland Games, Major James Macrae, said: “Saturday was almost a miracle, given the amount of rain on Thursday and Friday we were seriously worried whether the event was going to go ahead. On the day we had long periods of sunshine and virtually no rain at all. Sadly we did have to cancel the track events but everything else was able to go ahead. Looking back it really was a very successful day. Triumph was snatched from the mouth of disaster.”
Among this year’s visitors were a party of 60 dancers and parents who had travelled over from two dance schools in Ontario, Canada to take part in the Games.
Canadian Jane Gouk, who helped organise the trip, said: “It’s a fantastic experience for the dancers not only do they get to come over to Scotland and compete but they also get to see the area. This is our fourth time competing at the Games where we always receive a warm welcome. We’ve had an excellent day.“
The Council has invested over £100,000 in drainage works at Moss o’Balloch Park in recent years to ensure the park can withstand wet weather and still be used for public events.