Cowal spectators spoiled for choice - Cowal Highland Gathering
27th - 29th August 2020

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Cowal spectators spoiled for choice

On the face of it, the entertainment on offer at this year’s Cowal Highland Gathering (CHG) presents an almost impossible choice for spectators. World class Highland Dancing or world class piping? Heavy athletics or traditional wrestling? World famous mountain bike stunt team or one of Scotland’s top children’s entertainers? Duck and dog display or kids’ tent? And so it goes on.

The great news is that the thousands of people expected to flock to Dunoon stadium on Gathering Saturday (August 29) can do it all. They’ll be able to sample everything without missing out on anything!

Despite the range of attractions being bigger and better than ever before, CHG organisers have ensured that there will be ample opportunity for ticket holders to schedule their day so as to take in everything there is to see.

The success of last year’s Gathering, which introduced a fantastic array of additional entertainment to complement the more traditional highland elements, has ensured the event will once again offer something for everyone, whatever their age. Of course the traditional events remain the foundation with a wealth of attractions to choose from – from highland dancing and piping to heavy athletics, wrestling and top ceilidh music.

However, those people fortunate enough to have been at the Gathering last year will be delighted to hear that the hugely popular new attractions are back again.

Among the most spectacular of those is the world famous Clan – Scotland’s cycle stunt team, the UK’s most exciting and dynamic team on two wheels. The Clan has wowed audiences across the world with its gravity-defying shows, including when it performed at London 2012. More than 10 million people have witnessed the team’s skills on TV. Now Cowal Highland Gathering spectators once again have to chance to join those lucky enough to see the fearless riders in action live.

Also appearing will be Mark Wylie with his sheepdog and duck display team – otherwise known as the Drakes of Hazard. Mark developed his act on his hill farm on Loch Lomond, but has become so popular that he has now performed throughout the UK. Spectators marvel at the skill as man and dog work together to control, navigate and direct a group of fearless Indian Runner ducks around an obstacle course.

In addition, one of Scotland’s top children’s entertainers is once again returning to the Gathering to delight the younger spectators (and their parents!). Artie Treszise – who spent 30 years as one half of the famous Singing Kettle, Scotland’s biggest children’s act – will be back with his unique brand of interactive storytelling. His ‘Artie’s Tartan Tales’ shows have proved a huge hit in the last couple of years. Instead of a kettle, Artie’s only prop is a tartan trunk filled with souvenirs and trinkets to weave into his traditional but interactive Scottish stories.

New for 2015 is the ‘Favours and Flavours’ tent, which celebrates Scotland’s Year of Food and Drink, and will showcase some of the best of Scotland’s food, drink and crafts and will include a whisky and gin bar.

There will also be the chance for the young at heart to visit the ‘come and try’ sporting arenas – including the Gathering’s temporary mountain bike track - or visit Glasgow Science Centre’s ‘FitLab’ which provides a range of experiments allowing children of all ages to test their strength, reactions and reflexes.

The event wouldn’t be complete without the Cowal Kids Tent, featuring the usual mix of puppet shows, clowns, magicians and balloon benders as well as other family attractions.

All this, of course, takes place at the same time as some of the country’s best ceilidh bands entertain the crowds in the event’s ever-popular McEwan’s Ceilidh Tent. Headlining once again is one of Scotland’s most popular ceilidh bands, Oban-based Skipinnish. They will be supported by three acts with very different approaches to Highland music - The Gunna Sound Ceilidh Band, Eriskay Lilt and Dùn Mòr Ceilidh Band.

Of course, the fun isn’t confined to the stadium, there will be entertainment and games, hosted by family favourite Cheeko the Clown in Argyll Gardens from 10.30am before the Cowal Hill Race kicks off at 11.00am. The 5K race, now in its third year, sees runners scale the Camel’s Hump, but you’d better be quick, the first runners were back in the stadium in 18 minutes last year! And, from 11.30am Canned Haggis will get your toes tapping as they perform live music in the bandstand and lead some communal dancing.

As in previous years, the finale of Cowal Highland Gathering 2015 will be the Western Ferries sponsored fireworks display which will begin around 9.00pm.

CHG chair Ronnie Cairns said this year’s event would firmly cement the Gathering’s reputation as one of Scotland’s very best family days out. “The feedback we received last year on the many new additions to our schedule was overwhelmingly positive, and we’re delighted to welcome them back once again to wow the crowds as well as introduce new attractions such as the Favours and Flavours tent,” he added. “Cowal Highland Gathering now boasts not just the very best in terms of traditional Highland disciplines, but also the very best additional entertainment for all ages.

“Every year we win new fans with our unique blend of attractions, and I’m sure this year will be no different.

“Cowal has always been one of the highlights of the highland games season, and we’re confident that our spectators – whether old timers or first timers, young or not-so-young – will thoroughly enjoy their time with us. So come along and experience a fantastic fun-filled family day out!”

This year’s Cowal Highland Gathering, with main sponsorship from Scottish Salmon Company and in association with charity partner Cash for Kids – part of EventScotland’s National Events programme - runs from Thursday 27 to Saturday 29 August. For more information about the event or to buy tickets, please visit the Gathering’s website at www.cowalgathering.com or contact the event office by emailing info@cowalgathering.com or phoning 01369 703206.