The countdown to a record-breaking event which will generate more than £2 million to the Lochaber economy began yesterday.
The 125th Royal National Mòd will be held in the area in October.
And it is already in the record books with the biggest number of entries the top annual festival has ever seen.
Mòd Loch Abar’s shop in Fort William’s High Street – which will become a focal point for visitors in the build-up to the event – was officially opened by a local legend.
Chrissie MacEachan, who tutored the Lochaber Gaelic Youth Choir for more than 50 years, cut the ribbon to open the premises to resounding cheers from onlookers.
The Mòd shop is the place to go to find out information about the different events and where they will be held. It is staffed by local volunteers – many of whom are Gaelic speakers – but all are a mine of information about the hugely popular event which was last held in Lochaber 10 years ago.
Ronald Cameron, convener of Mòd Loch Abar, said he was delighted that the region will be hosting the biggest competition ever.
“At the moment we have more than 1,300 entries which is just fantastic.
“The Mòd will be held at various venues including the Nevis Centre, West Highland College UHI, Duncansburgh Macintosh and St Andrew’s churches in Fort William and the Gaelic School and the community centre both in Caol.
“The event starts with the Children’s Mòd which will be held at Lochaber High School.
“Although everyone sings in Gaelic, not everyone can speak the language, but in every choir there is always at least one native speaker.”
The Mòd begins on Friday, October 13, and runs until Saturday, October 21, and volunteers are still needed to help with stewarding duties.