THERE were celebrations in Arisaig last week as more than 2,000 people from all over the world gathered to watch the 80th Highland games and Clan Ranald gathering.
Despite getting off to a wet and windy start, the afternoon picked up and everyone enjoyed some sunshine at the village’s Traigh Farm on Wednesday July 27.
The day featured a variety of events, from heavyweight contests to children’s races, piping competitions and Highland dancing, as well as craft, food and clothing stalls for visitors to enjoy.
Opening the games, younger of the Clan Ranald, Ranald Macdonald, spoke of the history of both his family and the games. His father has been chief of the clan for more than 60 years.
He said: ‘ We are gathered on a perfect piece of land with people who want to show off their skills. We are in the heart of Clan Ranald country.’
Chairman of the games Allan MacDonald said: ‘We are very lucky at the games. We have a pool of about 30 volunteers who are extremely enthusiastic. We have been gathering in this field for about 30 years. It usually takes us about four or five days to set it all up.
‘We have been very fortunate because we get great sponsorship from Ardnamurchan Distillery, which has enabled us to improve and add to the atmosphere and attraction of the games.’
Committee treasurer Fraser MacDougall said: ‘I have been treasurer for seven years now and I love it. We have a young committee who always want to push forward.’
Ardnamurchan Distillery chairman Keith Falconer added: ‘ We have put a lot into this venture the past three years because we are the local distillery and it’s a great way to work with the community, local people and encourage tourists to the area.’
Highland dancers kicked off the afternoon, with local competitor Aimee Sneddon, 16, from Mallaig taking home the Keith Eddie cup.
Fort William local David Hart had a successful day winning the Arisaig Games, Allan Macdonald and Creag Mhor caber trophies.
Rounding off the day was a ceilidh in Astley village hall, where local band Skipinnish performed.
The committee is planning to hold a ceilidh in September to celebrate the 80th birthday of the games.
Paul Macdonald, originally from Glenuige, led a sword demonstration as part of the Highland Challenge in which 12 people from America took part. 21_ F32 Arisaig Games_ sword demo 01
Chairman of the games, Allan MacDonald, with piping brothers Sandy and Finlay Cameron from Spean Bridge. Finlay received the Cameron-Head cup for junior piping. 21_ F32 Arisaig Games_ chairman of the games 01
Highland dancer Aimee Sneddon, 16, from Mallaig, who won all the local dancing competitions and the Keith Eddie cup. 21_ F32 Arisaig Games_ Aimee Sneddon 01
Heavy weight events got under way with the shotput competition. 21_ F32 Arisaig Games_ shotput 01
Chairman of Ardnamurchan distillery Keith Falconer, second left, with his team. The distillery sponsored the games. 21_ F32 Arisaig Games_ distillery sponsors 01
The 11 and under sword dance was popular with onlookers at the games. 21_ F32 Arisaig Games_ highland dancing 03
Dancers perform the highland fling in the junior category for up to 16-years. 21_ F32 Arisaig Games_ highland dancing 02
David Hart, from Fort William, who won the Arisaig Games, Allan Macdonald and Creag Mhor Caber trophies. 21_ F32 Arisaig Games_ shotput 02
Aimee Sneddon, 16, and Lindsey Jones, 35, compete in the adult Highland dancing competitions. Lindsey won the Robert Cuthbertson shield for the category. 21_ F32 Arisaig Games_ highland dancing 01
Games announcer William MacLennan who did a fantastic job presenting the games. 21_ F32 Arisaig Games_ announcer 01
Younger of Clan Ranald, Ranald Macdonald, whose father is the 24th chief of the clan and has been for 60 years. Ranald opened the 80th Arisaig games. 21_ F32 Arisaig Games_ Ranald Macdonald 01