The Lonach Highland Gathering and Games has been cancelled for 2021.
It is the latest event to fall victim to Covid for a second consecutive year, with Highland Games in Forres, Tomintoul, Dufftown and Cornhill amongst others already being called off.
The event was scheduled to be held on Saturday, August 28, but has been cancelled due to ongoing concerns about the pandemic.
Regarded as one of Scotland’s most iconic traditional summer spectacles, the Aberdeenshire games attracts up to 10,000 visitors and provides a significant economic boost for the Strathdon area and Bellabeg village.
However, following a committee meeting last night, the decision was made to cancel the event, only the second time it has been called off since 1945.
‘Too many unknowns’
An online statement issued by the committee revealed that they were unable to plan ahead due to ongoing uncertainties surrounding Covid.
It read: “There are just too many unknowns for us to plan ahead and with no idea of what restrictions there may be in August this made planning and preparation very difficult.
“We also need to think of the health and wellbeing of our small community here in Strathdon as well as everyone who attends Lonach.
“We are extremely disappointed to have to cancel for a second year, but we are looking forward to the 179th Lonach Games in 2022 and the 180th Lonach and 200th year of the Lonach Society in 2023 (a big occasion!).
“Ho Ho Lonach!”
Aboyne Highland Games also cancelled
It was due to be held on Saturday August 7.
They cited the “unknown restrictions” that may be in place in August as one of the main reasons for cancelling.
However, better times to come have been promised by both committees, who are now preparing for summer 2022.