Sunshine, bagpipes and good times left Speyside “hoaching” with thousands of happy visitors this weekend at the 127th Dufftown Highland Games.
Spectators travelled from across the country and even from overseas to the malt whisky capital on Saturday for this year’s display of traditional Scottish sports, dancing and music.
It is estimated around 5,800 people attended this year’s sun-soaked games, up from the 5,000 attendees who braved the rain to join in the fun at last year’s event.
Hundreds of bagpipers marched from the town’s iconic clock tower to the games during the opening ceremony, led for the fifth year by chieftain Alex Grant – who was this year joined at the front of the procession by daughters Jillian, Suzanne and Vivien.
Mr Grant said: “It really made my day doing the march with my girls, it was a very proud moment for me as a father and I think they thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
“It was an absolutely fantastic day, and we had tourists coming from far and wide thanks to the beautiful weather.
“But of course the games couldn’t function without the hard-working volunteers and the committee, who once again outdid themselves.”
Throughout the day, 294 members of massed pipe bands raised spirits – and a few drams – with their traditional Highland music.
Dancers entertained the crowds with their carefully-choreographed routines, and this year 102 runners took part in the hill race.
Linda Brown, the chairwoman of the games’ organising committee, said: “There wasn’t a sign of rain all day, so we really had an amazing turnout.
“The whole town was just resonating with the sounds of the pipes and the drums, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a crowd to watch the beat the retreat.
“It really was something special.”
Moray MP Douglas Ross was one of the many happy people attending the games with his family.
Cracking day at Dufftown Highland Games yesterday and Beating The Retreat with the massed pipes and drums as great as ever! Fantastic advert for Scotland and it's heritage ?????????????????????
Posted by Leanne Williams on Sunday, 28 July 2019
He said: “Dufftown and the games were absolutely hoaching with people enjoying the great summer weather.
“The organisers really succeeded in putting on another outstanding event.”