BLS Highland Games In Lochearnhead
Strathyre * BalquhIdder * Lochearnhead
20 July - 2019
The March of The Committee
We are proud of our local traditional Highland Games. The communities of Balquhidder, Strathyre and Lochearnhead work hard to ensure that the tradition continues each year in July. The event is funded thanks to the sponsorship of local businesses and villagers. Event organisers are volunteers under the guidance of the games President, Angus Cameron. The Camerons have long been associated with this local event as explained in the history of the Highland Games in Lochearnhead.
Click here for History of The Highland Games in Lochearnhead
The Highland Games take place in the Lochearnhead games field near the west end of Loch Earn. Ancient local clans are celebrated, including; McLaren, Stewart of Strathearn, Ferguson, MacGregor and McNab. The McLaren and McGregor Chiefs set up hospitality tents on the games field and invite their clansmen and women to rally for the weekend. Clans and visitors come from all over the world. The thrilling days events start with the traditional March of The Committee. Clans are invited to march with committee organisers starting at the Lochearnhead village hall on the A85 and leading on to the games field going once around the (c) 300 yard track so that everyone can enjoy the opening ceremony. The clan chiefs and chieftans are recognised by their one and two feathered caps and clan members sport a variety of outfits in clan tartan colours. An invitation marching pipe band accompanies the procession.
A compère announces events and covers the days proceedings so you can hear what is going on no matter where you base yourself around the track. Heavy Weight competitors take part in tossing the caber, the shot putt and other field events. They are officially invited to compete by the committee. The family fun track and field open events are for all the family. Cash and kids prizes are awarded for 1st, 2nd and 3rd. Open events are run for toddlers, teenagers, adults and there is even a spinsters dash! If you fancy tossing the sheaf or high jumping into an overturned mud pit, no-one will stop you. Simply register your name at the organisers tent.
Highland dance competitions take place on a stage. This is worth viewing and photographing for the outfits alone never mind the incredible dance skills of the boy and girls that enter.
The annual piobaireachd (piping) competition is another tradition. The winner is presented with The Druim a' Charraigh Quaich by The Clan Gregor Society. The hill race starts from the track. Runners leave the games field to cross the road before making their way up a local mountain. They are stamped at the top and have to run once more around the track on return. The record is around 27 minutes which is incredible. You have to see it to believe it! Generous prizes await the worthy winner. Not for the faint hearted or novice runners.
During the day there are numerous stalls with food and drink, kiddies entertainment, jewellery, Harris Tweed furnishing products. local tourism and clan information and so much more. The beer tent houses popular band Pure Malt who kick start the evening fun around 4pm with an eclectic mix of sing along songs that usually inspire some dancing. Jam sessions with pipe band members occur spontaneously. If you have never been to a Highland Games then this is an exemplary traditional event to attend.
We love it when the Scouts are in residence at the Lochearnhead Scout station as the boys and girls enter into the spirit of the local fun events. In 2013 and 2014 the audience were treated to a 15 minute aeronautical stunt plane display with the pilot looping the loop and blowing smoke rings above the games field. Each year brings its own delights. Who will win the battle of the clans this year in the tug of war between the McLarens and the MacGregors?
Drawings by @JoSunshineArt