Nearly 1,000 people have turned out to celebrate a Braemar Gathering with a difference.
Due to coronavirus, the traditional Deeside event which celebrates the best of Scottish culture is not able to be held.
So, organisers instead put together a Braemar Gathering Alternative filled with the usual sounds of pipes and flair of dancers.
‘Crowds did not want to leave’
Normally more than 10,000 spectators, including the Queen, descend on the games park for the spectacle.
While the traditional display of Highland athletics was not able to go ahead, the crowd of about 600 people were still able to enjoy the stirring sight and sound of Lonach Pipe Band marching to the field.
Dancers joined the parade of colour, which passed the Duke of Rothesay Games Pavilion.
And while a programme of races was organised for locals to take part in – the popularity of the event persuaded many to stay beyond the finishing time.
David Geddes, Braemar Gathering president, said: “It was a good day, we were lucky with the weather.
“It was a lovely happy and relaxed atmosphere and the kids could run around and play, which was nice. Everyone seemed to enjoy the races, they even stayed behind to create their own.
“The crowds certainly reacted well to what we put on. The big hope is we can get back to some sort of normal next year, whatever that is.”
Special exhibition to celebrate Gathering’s heritage
This year’s alternative Braemar Gathering will continue until the end of October with a special exhibition in the Games Pavilion.
Included is a special waxwork model of Queen Victoria, which is on loan to the event from the Fife Arms Hotel.
The monarch was a strong supporter of the event, having attended her first in 1848.
And brooch awarded as a prize by Queen Victoria at that event more than 160 years ago is also included as part of the heritage exhibition, which is open at weekends and on occasion during the week when volunteers allow.
Next year’s Braemar Gathering has been scheduled for Saturday, September 3