Car­ni­val at­mos­phere for 79th an­nual Ari­saig games

The Oban Times - - Feature -

A SUC­CESS­FUL day ended with a boom­ing night for this year’s Ari­saig games.

The 79th an­nual event saw a record num­ber of peo­ple turn out to watch High­land dancers, adult heavy­weight cham­pi­ons and new­com­ers, ju­nior heav­ies and run­ners com­pete on Wed­nes­day July 29.

A se­ries of chil­dren’s races were en­joyed as were a va­ri­ety of food and bar tents, car­ni­val games and bouncy cas­tles.

Thou­sands of peo­ple cir­cu­lated craft, jew­ellery and cloth­ing stalls through­out the day.

De­spite get­ting off to a cold start with wind and rain on and off, the af­ter­noon picked up and peo­ple were able to en­joy some sun­shine and heat at the vil­lage’s Traigh Farm.

Later in the evening, mem­bers of the com­mu­nity and visi­tors turned out at Ast­ley vil­lage hall to take part in a ceilidh and dance to mu­sic per­formed by lo­cally-born band, Skip­in­nish.

Or­gan­is­ers later said on so­cial media: ‘ Num­bers have yet to be of­fi­cially counted, but we think we may have had record num­bers to­day.

‘The Ast­ley hall tonight was full to ca­pac­ity within an hour.

‘Great stuff - it’s bril­liant to see our wee vil­lage so busy.’

Although the windy day­time weather was not most welcome by com­peti­tors, it seemed to en­cour­age the public.

But the high­light of Wed­nes­day’s events was Skip­in­nish, ac­cord­ing to all those who came along to the games.

The five-piece tra­di­tional Scot­tish Gaelic band per­formed a se­ries of pop­u­lar hits as well as some of their own on the night.

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Lochaber schools pipe band played Scot­tish clas­sics in­clud­ing Auld Lang Syne.

The Con­nolly fam­ily, from Dum­bar­ton, en­joyed their first trip to the games af­ter years of camp­ing in Ari­saig. Sis­ters Emma, 10, and Lau­ren, 12, (far right) and cousin Caitlin, eight, browsed the stalls. Nathan Burchett, 29, from iowa en­joyed tak­ing part in the games. Roy Valen­tine, from Stone­haven, com­peted in the heavy­weights.

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Cather­ine Walker, from Vir­ginia USA, was in town on busi­ness and went along to en­joy the

games.

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