A bumper crowd is expected at Highland Council’s biggest summer event next weekend.
The revival of the Inverness Gala at Bught Park, which was hugely popular in the 1950s, has generated considerable interest.
Community groups are working with the council’s events team to reignite the excitement of previous traditions but combining a modern twist with new, additional events.
The gala kicks off with the Inverness Highland Games at Bught Park after a four years at the Northern Meeting Park.
It was relocated in order to stage last year’s celebrations to mark the 150th anniversary of the opening of the world’s oldest Highland Games stadium.
New city provost Helen Carmichael will make history by becoming the first female chieftain since the games were first officially staged in Inverness in 1822.
The event will have new attractions including a unique challenge offered by the “stonemason’s stone” that will see competitors attempting to launch a 252lb boulder over a 5ft bar.
The games starts at midday with the massed pipe bands and close with a mass Highland fling organised by the Fraser School of Highland Dancing.
Spectators will be invited onto the field to join the dancers and attempt the fling.
As well as a full programme of heavy events, the games will feature solo piping, Highland dancing, Scottish country dancing plus athletics.
There will be exhibitions in the gala showfield with an “exclusively Highlands” craft marquee featuring more than 40 local craftspeople and 30 clans represented in a “clan village”.
On Sunday, Bught Park will be the venue for the Highland’s strongest woman competition and a 10K road race that starts at 2pm.
A new team strength event – The Highlander Challenge – will see teams of two men and two women compete in a mixture of traditional strength challenges.
Sunday will also feature a tug of war tournament and mixed martial arts.
Other Sunday highlights include a motorcycle show to raise funds for the Highland Hospice.
Glynis Sinclair, chairwoman of the Inverness events and festivals group, said: “There’s a definite buzz and feelgood factor about the whole event.
“With so many volunteers, competitors, performers and spectators providing us with such enthusiastic support, we have tried to stage something that will appeal to all sections of our community.”