Dunoon welcomes crowds for day one of Cowal Highland Gathering 2018 - Cowal Highland Gathering
29th - 31st August 2019

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News  »  Dunoon welcomes crowds for day one of Cowal Highland Gathering 2018

Dunoon welcomes crowds for day one of Cowal Highland Gathering 2018

Dunoon welcomed thousands of people today as the world’s most spectacular Highland Games finally kicked off.

Visitors from the four corners of the globe have been pouring into the town and surrounding area over the last few days in the run-up to what is one of the most eagerly anticipated events in the Scottish calendar. Today they joined crowds of local people heading to Cowal Highland Gathering (CHG) for the start of the action.

At 9.30am sharp the first event got underway - the Scottish National Highland Dancing Championships. The Nationals, which continue tomorrow (Friday), is one of three dancing competitions being held during the Gathering. The others are the Scottish Championship and the World Highland Dancing Championship, the finals of which provides the biggest afternoon in the global dancing calendar on Saturday.

Today’s action saw top class entertainment from 453 dancers in 11 categories.
Among the winners were:
• Eilidh Gammons from Helensburgh in the 10 years category • Kirstin Mitchelson, Monifieth, in the 17 years category
• Isla Mitchelson, Monifieth in the 18 years and over category

CHG chair Ronnie Cairns was delighted at the first day of competition. “The eyes of the Highland dancing world are once again on Dunoon,” he said. “Highland dancing fans from all corners of the globe are watching the action not only in the Stadium, but also online as the Gathering broadcasts all the dancing competitions by live stream.

“The feedback from our online audience is already very positive and the excitement is just going to be heightened over the next couple of days as we get nearer to crowing our new world champions.”

Ronnie added that the meticulous preparations for this year’s event seem to be paying off, with everything going without a hitch today.

“Even a bit of wet weather failed to dampen the spirits of competitors and spectators, most of whom come prepared for rain at some stage of the proceedings!,” he added.

“We’ve got a packed schedule for tomorrow and Saturday with something for everyone to enjoy, from Highland Dancing, pipe bands, solo piping, heavy athletics and ceilidh music to running, parkour, Runner Ducks, kids’ entertainment or any of the other many attractions the Gathering now boasts.

“I’m delighted with how the first day has gone, and we very much look forward to welcoming everyone back again tomorrow for another day of spectacular entertainment.”

The day’s events are not yet over, with the 5K Cowal Run due to start from the Boat House in West Bay at 7.15pm this evening.