Thursday, 23 July 2009

Inverness Highland Games - 4

The 2009 Inverness Highland Games have been hailed as one of the premier events of its kind in the world.

Up to 11,000 people are thought to have descended on the Bught Park arena for the two-day games, including hundreds of holidaymakers and foreign tourists.

Speaking last night, games organiser Gerry Reynolds said: “It has been a tremendous success and those taking part have told me that they regard our Highland games as one of the best in the world.”

Rain kept numbers down to 3,500 on Saturday but an improvement in the weather yesterday led to 7,000 visitors pouring through the gates.

Mr Reynolds said: “We have welcomed international competitors, seen world records broken, and Inverness has fallen in love with the Basque performers.”

The 65-strong Nazioen Mundua (World of Nations) touring group from the Basque region proved one of the event’s biggest crowd-pullers.

The party first came to the Inverness event two years ago and this year gave log-cutting and stone-lifting demonstrations, which were filmed by a Basque television company for a documentary.

Highland games Chieftain, Inverness Provost Jimmy Gray, said: “It is events like these that put Inverness on the world map. The youngest competitor, a dancer, was three, and the oldest was 73, which shows the broad range of the games.”

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