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Huntly gears up for piping hot spectacle

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Organisers of a musical spectacular are hoping it will draw in the biggest crowd Huntly has seen since the Millennium.

Pipes in the Park will be held in the town next month, with pipe bands and musicians from across the north-east lined up to play before former Runrig front man Donnie Munro and the renowned Red Hot Chilli Pipers take to the stage.

The event was originally dreamt up by Huntly and District Pipe Band to mark the Year of Homecoming, but thanks to support from local businesses and organisations, it has grown into what the group hope will be a “spectacle” attended by thousands of people.

Huntly, Ballater, Buckie, Dufftown, Elgin, Inverurie, Keith, Kintore, Lonach and Buchan Peterson pipe bands will kick-off the August 30 event by marching through the town to the Gordon School’s playing fields.

Once there, the bands will perform both individually and as a massed band, along with musicians such as Tarland fiddler Paul Anderson, the New Distillery Ceilidh Band, and folk trio North Sea Gas.

There will also be Highland dancing and a Drum Major display, as well as a theatrical performance from local drama group Aurora.

At about 5.30pm, the Donnie Munro Band will take to the stage before headliners the Red Hot Chilli Pipers perform at 7pm.

Bill Dean, president of Huntly and District Pipe Band, said: “It’s looking very positive, we’re getting some really good feedback about the programme.

“We’ve got 10 pipe bands coming together, and three or four of them are really big. It should be spectacular to see them parading through the town to the playing fields.

“There’s not been anything major in Huntly since Gordon 2000, so it will be good to get a reasonable crowd into the town again and we’re hoping the weather is good to us. Hopefully it will be a good day for everyone, it will be a bit of a spectacle for the town and it’s good that Huntly can promote itself.”

The free event will begin at 1pm, when the massed pipe bands will leave from Market Muir to Huntly Castle, and run until about 8pm.

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