Burntisland set for huge influx of visitors for Highland Games

Pic: George McLuskie
Pic: George McLuskie

It’s one of the highlights of the year in Burntisland and fingers are crossed that the sun shines on Monday’s Highland Games.

The Links provide the setting for the annual gathering and thousands of locals and visitors alike are expected to flock to the games, which is now in its 367th year.

With the games calendar well under way across Scotland, the Burntisland games traditionally attracts a bumper crowd as it is always held on the third Monday of July — the start of the Fife Fair Fortnight.

Games day kicks off with the long-established Exiles reception, when the town welcomes back former residents, which in past years have come from far and wide, which takes place in the Burgh Chambers at 9.30am .

The exiles then join a parade led by Burntisland and District Pipe Band and Burntisland Summer King and Queen,Spencer, Davies and Ella Forrest, for a colourful procession which makes its way to the games arena on The Links.

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The arrival of the parade heralds the official opening of the games at noon, although there will be much to be seen and enjoyed from 11am onwards.

Founded in 1652, Burntisland’s is the second-oldest highland games in the world and features all the traditional competitions you would expect to find, including highland dancing, running, cycling and heavy events.

Unlike spectators, those hoping the weather will not be too hot will be the runners in the popular Binn Hill Race. With entries on the day, it’s difficult to predict the competition but this muscle-burning event is always hotly contested and exciting to watch.

The heavy events, such as tossing the caber and the hammer, are also popular for witnessing impressive feats of strength. Lighter on their toes are the competitors in the highland dancing sections, bringing grace to the flings and sword dances.

The pipe band performances always provide an atmospheric background to the activities, adding to the tradition of the day.

Janice Jeffrey, treasurer of the games, said: “We’re going to have a good turnout of runners, and no doubt the heavies will turn up as they usually do the whole circuit.

“We’ll be hoping for dry weather.”