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5 Reasons why the 2017 Cowal Highland Gathering may be the best yet!

5 Reasons why the 2017 Cowal Highland Gathering may be the best yet!
Cowal Highland Gathering in Dunoon is known as the world's most spectacular Highland games. You can see why. Around 23,000 people visit this fun, family event every year to watch the world-class competitions, listen to some of Scotland’s best ceilidh bands and soak up the unique atmosphere - all in a stunning Highland location. And this year sees even more exciting activities and events taking place. We reckon it might just be the best Cowal Highland Gathering yet. Here’s why!

1. Seeing the stars of the Highland dancing world battle it out in the World Highland Dancing Championship is one of the highlights of Cowal Highland Gathering. And this year a record number of dancers has entered the event. An incredible 720 dancers will make their way to Dunoon for what can only be described as the most spectacular Highland dancing competition on the planet. Many of this year’s entrants will have travelled thousands of miles to take part, including 105 dancers from Canada, 34 from the USA, 18 from Australia, six from South Africa and two from New Zealand. The grace, skill and stamina on display will by simply sensational.

2. Watching the heavy athletes compete at the Cowal Highland Gathering is awe-inspiring. From tossing the caber to shot-putting the 34lbs-Cowal Stone (over twice the size of a normal shot), the ‘heavies’ will thrill you with their strength. The event always attracts the world’s best strongmen and this year Daniel Dorow the German heavy events champion will be competing. Will he try his luck with the giant ‘Tilhill’ caber – one of the biggest cabers on the Highland games circuit – and achieve the coveted ’12 o’clock’? Sylvana Bomholt the German ladies champion and world masters champion in the 40 to 44 age group will also be competing. She’s incredible to watch, combining immense skill and strength.

3. The Gig at the Gathering, held in the Stadium’s Ceilidh Tent on the Friday night, is not to be missed. Launched two years ago, it’s now regarded as one of the top ceilidh music event in Scotland. This year’s line-up is cracking. The wonderful Tide Lines will be headlining supported by the ever-popular young Argyll band Heron Valley and Trongate Rum Riots, a Glasgow nine-piece band who play their own brand of ‘turbo sea shanties’. There will also be some very fine whiskies and gins to sample as well as some tasty street food to tuck into.

4. The legendary Ceilidh Tent will be jumping this year with a stellar line up of some of the Scotland’s best traditional musicians. We can’t wait to see Scottish super group Mànran take to the stage. The band’s fiery tunes from fiddle, accordian, flute, uilleann and Highland bagpipes combine with funk, jazz and rock to create some truly uplifting music. They’ll supported by Hò-rò, Heron Valley and Eriskay Lilt. Expect a fantastic atmosphere and plenty of dancing.

5. Family entertainment! Cowal Highland Gathering is well known as a fun festival for all the family and this year the perfomance area has something for everyone - whether you're young or young at heart! Back by popular demand, the Clan Stunt Bike Team will wow the crowd with their gravity defying stunts on two wheels. And, for wildlife fans, Ridgeside Falconry Display will be doing demonstrations with birds ranging from a barn owl to a fully grown Griffin African Vulture with an 11 foot wingspan! This alongside a come and try mountain bike track, craft area and music and songs from one of Scotland's best loved children's entertainers, Artie Tresize and his Tartan Tales

There’s loads of other great stuff taking place across the weekend, from piping championships to running races to family entertainment. Don’t miss the Salute to the Chieftain on Saturday afternoon when all of the pipe bands gather in the centre of the Stadium to play in unison.

If you can't be at the Cowal Gathering in person you can still enjoy the world's most spectacular games! Follow the Highland dancers perform on the main stage via a live feed that will be going out over three days.

The 2017 Cowal Highland Gathering is on the the 24th, 25th and 26th August. Come and be part of one of the biggest, most spectacular Highland games in the world! Find out more and buy your tickets online.
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Piper at Cowal Gathering Salute at Cowal Gathering International heavy athletics teams battle it out to be the best
Tossing the caberSome of the the Gathering's historic silverwareReturning 2 times heavy athletics champion, Iceland's Heisi Geirmundsson
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