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Ballater Highland Games cancelled for second year in a row

The Duke of Rothesay attending the Ballater Highland Games in 2019.
The Duke of Rothesay attending the Ballater Highland Games in 2019.

The Ballater Highland Games have been cancelled “with a heavy heart” for a second year in a row as a result of the pandemic.

The annual celebration of traditional Scottish culture and competition, which has been held since 1864, was due to take place on August 12.

However, this evening the games committee has announced the decision to postpone the event to 2022.

The annual event features all manner of traditional competitions. Photo: Scott Baxter

Although many restrictions are easing across Scotland, those behind the event said the future still remains “very unclear”, and raised concerns about what restrictions could be in place in August.

It is the latest highland games event to be cancelled in Deeside, following similar news from the organisers of the Aboyne and Braemar events.

The games always take place in Monaltrie Park, Ballater. Photo: Scott Baxter

The latest cancellation

John Sinclair, the chairman of the Ballater Highland Games, said: “With a heavy heart, the Ballater Highland Games Committee has decided once again to cancel this year’s Ballater Highland Games.

“Although things are starting to look a lot more normal, it is still very unclear what restrictions and guidelines will be in place come August in relation to Covid-19 and social distancing.

“Furthermore, our local community is our priority and we want to keep everyone as safe as possible.

“We look forward to welcoming everyone back on Thursday 11th August 2022.”

The day of what would have been the physical 2020 Ballater Highland Games was marked with a digital event.

The Duke of Rothesay raised the standard on what would have been the big day to mark the occasion.

It has not yet been confirmed if any similar initiatives will be taking place this year.

Earlier this month, war hero Captain Alwyne Farquharson revealed he would be stepping down from the role of chieftain at the Ballater Highland Games after 73 years in the role. 

The title will be passed from Captain Farquharson to his 40-year-old great nephew Philip Farquharson on May 1, his 102nd birthday.

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