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Blutwölfin
Tuesday, July 31st, 2007, 08:24 PM
SCOTLAND'S biggest ever Highland games is to be staged in Holyrood Park as part of a year of events aimed at attracting people from around the world to visit or emigrate to Scotland.

http://images.scotsman.com/2007/07/31/en31flib.jpg

The games will be staged over the same weekend as a massive "gathering of the clans", as one of the showpieces of the year-long campaign.

More than 30,000 visitors are expected to flock to a specially-created arena in the royal park for games at The Gathering event in 2009. Another 7500 clan members from around the world are also expected to travel to the city for what is being billed as the world's biggest clan gathering.

As well as the traditional displays of piping, dancing, athletics and heavy events, featuring 2000 competitors and performers, the games arena will also play host to a food and drink fair.

There will also be an exhibition allowing visitors to trace their ancestry, and a live music stage featuring leading contemporary and traditional bands.

The one-off event is being held on July 25 and 26, 2009. After the first day of events, all the clan members will take part in a mass parade up the Royal Mile from Holyrood Park. It is hoped all 8500 seats in the arena erected for that year's Tattoo will be filled, for a huge pageant to be staged on Edinburgh Castle Esplanade.

The Gathering event is being staged as part of Homecoming Scotland, a year-long campaign to persuade people around the globe with an affinity to Scotland to pay a visit.

Held to coincide with the 250th anniversary of poet Robert Burns' birth, events and celebrations are expected to be held all over Scotland, and The Gathering is already expected to be one of the highlights of the Edinburgh programme.

The Gathering is being masterminded by Jamie Sempill, a former hereditary peer and ex-Tory Party candidate, who has joined forces with experienced event organiser Jenny Gilmour.

Mr Sempill said: "The Gathering is being designed as a unique occasion, with the main objective of drawing clansmen from around the world. It will take the form of a classic two-day Highland games with a special evening event during the Saturday.

"The key events are designed for the benefit of the clans, including the parade up the Royal Mile, and a special commemorative pageant to be held on the Esplanade, when we'll be able to take advantage of all the Tattoo's infrastructure that is in place.

"Over the course of the two days in Holyrood Park, we are hoping to have some 80 clan tents for around 7500 clan members, including members of Caledonian and St Andrew's societies, more than half of whom we expect to travel from overseas. We're hoping at least a further 30,000 people will attend the events in the park over the weekend.

"The 2009 World Highland Games Championships will be held at the event and will draw the world's top heavy athletes, but in all there will be some 2000 performers over the course of the weekend, and that will be by far the biggest Highland games event ever held in Scotland."

Although the event is not due to be launched until October, when registration will open, interest has already been pouring in from clans as far afield as the United States, Canada, Australia and South Africa.

The Glengarry Highland Games in Ontario, Canada, is thought to have staged the world's biggest such event in 2005, when 25,000 people turned up.

Edinburgh's festivals and events champion, Councillor Steve Cardownie, said: "The Gathering will be a momentous event for Edinburgh.

"Thousands of people from all over the world will descend on the Capital to celebrate our history, heritage and culture. Many will have family links, some will have business links, and others will come just to be a part of the occasion."

Source (http://news.scotsman.com/scotland.cfm?id=1192782007)

ambiorix
Wednesday, August 8th, 2007, 05:35 AM
........................................ .(post deleted)

SmokyGod
Monday, August 13th, 2007, 06:36 PM
clan Scot sounding off (iirc)