The Stirling Highland Games – one of the area’s leading cultural outdoor events – has been cancelled for a second year due to Covid.
This year’s event was due to take place at Stirling Sports Village on 21st August, however, considering last week’s guidance from the Scottish Government, organisers have had to take the ‘sensible’ decision and cancel the gathering for everyone’s safety.
The event, which normally attracts thousands of visitors from overseas and around the UK, generating up to £500,000 for the host economy, would have been a welcome boost for businesses this year as part of the local recovery plan.
However, Matt McGrandles the Stirling Highland Games President advises, “It has been another frustrating year for the committee. We really wanted the gathering to happen but in the interests of safety and to protect our community, volunteers and supporters we just felt that the timings aren’t quite there yet for us to be completely confident. We are also worried about the number of visitors able to attend events safely, so we decided that the best way forward was to look at delivering another virtual Stirling Highland Games event.”
The organisers have already been working on a virtual event option and are currently speaking with sponsors on supporting their virtual plans. This will include the filming and production of some elements of the highland games over the summer. The finalised programme is scheduled to be shown online on the official event day, Saturday 21st August.
Active Stirling is already onboard showing their support as is Specsavers Stirling, which will see a socially distanced Heavyweights gathering and The Bruce Challenge competition go ahead. The committee is also hoping to secure sponsorship of the track gathering, highland dancing and an adaptive gathering as part of the online event programme.
Due to the success of the 2019 event showcasing award-winning Scottish producers, organisers have also applied to the Regional Food Fund in the hope they can create an online food and drinks experience as part of the programme offering.
Stirling Highland Games virtual programme is scheduled to be released online on Saturday 21st August. Please email office @stirlinghighlandgames.com for further details including any local business wishing to enquire about event sponsorship.
In 2019, Stirling Highland Games was one of only a few highland games in Scotland that created a virtual option for visitors to enjoy watching online. Its aim was to keep the city at the forefront of people’s minds when they are considering where to visit in the future. The committee is hoping for similar success for Stirling this year.