Published 18 July 2023
Thousands of visitors enjoyed a taste of traditional Scottish culture this weekend at the Loch Lomond Highland Games.
The event, which takes place annually in Moss O’Balloch Park, was hailed a success with crowds braving the weather to watch competitors battle it out.
Visitors from all over the world attended, seeing a range of Scottish sport and music including highland dancing displays; heavyweight events including hammer throwing, caber toss and shot putt; as well as a tug of war, wrestling, cycling, running, piping and highland dancing.
They included the Pete and Ashley Hanly from Yellowknife in Canada, who dressed the part in kilts along with their two children Mitchell, 8, and Katherine 5.
Ashley said: “It’s been such a fun event, and we have enjoyed seeing it as we have Scottish heritage, our grandparents were Scottish.”
Honeymooners Lorenzo Chimarossa, 38, and Paula Pascarella, 35, from Italy also enjoyed the event, saying they had always wanted to come to visit.
While Spanish students from St Andrew’s College Language School honed their English while taking in the competition.
Teacher Esther Marcos said: “We are here on a two week trip and before we chose the dates we checked when the Highland Games would be. We always come every time we are able to visit, we love Scotland and Scottish people and this is a fun day out.”
Pupil Hugo, aged 12, added: “Being over here is great for helping our learning. It’s so interesting to see Scottish culture.”
The reigning women’s tug of war team, from Dumbarton, were back too, with Lynn Glen from the Loch Lomond Early Birds, an outdoor swimming club, saying: “We wanted to defend our title. Last year was our first time and turns out were were pretty good at it.”
The event, which is run in a partnership between West Dunbartonshire Council and Loch Lomond Highland Games Limited, closed with a mass pipe band march through the main street in Balloch.
Provost Douglas McAllister said: “It was wonderful to see so many visitors enjoying the day – both those who live locally, and people who have travelled from countries around the world. The event really shows off traditional Scottish culture – from the pipes, to the caber to the highland dancers – and we were really proud to host it again.”
Chieftain Karen Conaghan, who officially opened the event with help from the Helensburgh Clan Colqhoun Pipe Band, added: “It’s an honour to be back here for the Loch Lomond Highland Games and I’m pleased that despite the uncertain weather, the crowds weren’t put off. Well done to all the competitors and thank you to all our wonderful visitors from near and far.”
The Loch Lomond Highland Games is sponsored by Ken McDonald (Dram morr Group), Waterhouse Balloch, Gift shop Balloch, Sandy Fraser (Oak Tree Inn, Balmaha), Lomond Print, Fraser Robb Ltd (Drymen) and Co-Op, Balloch.