Harpenden Highland Gathering is back for another year
PUBLISHED: 06:00 02 July 2016
An annual celebration of Scottish culture looks set to raise thousands for local charities in its 21st year.
The Harpenden Highland Gathering, which takes place on July 10 in Rothamsted Park, Harpenden, has a history of raising impressive sums for deserving causes.
This year the main beneficiaries are Diabetes Advice and Support Hertfordshire, The PSP (Progressive Supranuclear Palsy) Association and the Harpenden Lions Club Life Skills programme for local schools.
Visitors to the event will be treated to a wide range of activities and displays to suit all ages. The spectacular opening ceremony will include a record seven pipe bands, with one group coming all the way from Truro to take part.
Music forms a large part of the event programme and the main stage will play host to talented local singer-songwriter Emma McGrath.
Celtic band The Wight Hot Pipes are also expected to perform their unique blend of “bagpipes with attitude”, and their repertoire ranges from Highland cathedral to Queen and Status Quo.
The Scottish flavour continues with traditional ‘heavy’ Highland Games including the caber toss and stone putt. A Highland dancing competition will take place throughout the day, alongside performances from the Hiel’ and Toe Club.
Several exciting animal events will also be presented in the central arena. Farmer David Seamark will give a practical demonstration of a working sheepdog with his popular Dog and Duck show, a lively and entertaining spot of ferret racing will be conducted by Wild In The Country and Hawkeye Falconry will perform their impressive bird of prey display.
Away from the displays and games, there will be numerous craft, market, commercial and Scottish-themed stalls and a wide choice of food and drink at the food terrace and bar.
Harpenden Lions President John Powell says: “This is a special annual fixture in the Harpenden calendar. The Highland Gathering is a great family day for locals and those from further afield. But we also have to remember that the event is a major fundraiser.
“Typically, Harpenden Lions Club is able to donate as much as £15,000 to charities from the Highland Gathering, with more money being raised by the many charities at their own stalls.”
The event runs from 10am to 5pm. Adult admission is by programme, which costs £4 in advance or £6 on the gate. Entry is free for accompanied children under 16.