Our local Inverness Highland Games, the oldest in the world founded in 1822, is one of the most spectacular traditional Gatherings of the year, and I’m sure you’re looking forward to this year’s event on Saturday July 20th just as much as I am! It’s a great day out for all of the family and a fantastic way to enjoy a unique traditional experience.
The Games take place at the Northern Meeting Park Arena, situated behind Inverness Cathedral. It’s very easy to find and has an amazing atmosphere as the crowd gathers to cheer on its favourites.
There are some changes this year from last year’s event, with the return of the Female Heavies, the debut of Backhold Wrestling and the first ever attempt at the Stonemason's Stone in the modern era. The “252lb boulder over a 5 foot bar” challenge was last attempted in 1822 so you are guaranteed to see history made at the Gathering this year!
Gates open at 10.30am for the Mascot Madness Toddlers’ Highland Games, followed at 11am by competitive Highland Dancing making a welcome return to the main arena. The Solo Piping competitions, also at 11am, will take place in a specially constructed arena on the Highland Council HQ complex next door.
A new Track and Field Competition for Juniors will also get underway at 11am, before the Official Opening Ceremony at 1.00pm. This ceremony will see Games Chieftain Provost, Alex Graham, welcomed with the traditional Mass Highland Fling which is one of the most loved features of the Inverness Games.
At 1.15pm the Traditional Music Showcase Stage will open in the Traders Village to provide 5 hours of toe-tapping entertainment, whilst the Senior Track and Field events will get underway at 1.30pm.
Excitement will really reach fever pitch as the Heavies take the field to do battle from 2pm. It should be one of the highlights of the year!
Tickets for the Games are only available for sale on the day of the event itself and will be available from Inverness Town House from 9am on Games Day, or from Northern Meeting Park at 10.30am when the gates open.
Tickets cost £8 for adults and £4 for Seniors and Under 18's. Under 5's are admitted FREE
Don't forget to bring you camera – there should be plenty of opportunities to get some great photographs of the action!
10:30 Gates Open
11:00 Mascot Madness Toddlers Races
11:00 Traders Village and Exhibitions
11:00 Solo Piping Commences
11:00 Highland Dancing Commences
11:00 Junior Athletics - Track and Field Events
13:00 Chieftains Welcome and Opening Ceremony
13:15 Mass Highland Fling
13.30 Senior Track and Field Events
13.30 Senior Field Events
16.00 Backhold Wrestling
Heavies (Male and Female)
14:00 Scots Hammer
14:30 Weight For Distance
15:00 Inverness Stone
15:45 Weight Over the Bar
16:30 Tossing the Caber
17:00 Stonemason's Stone
(All times approximate)