2019 Highland Games Report

As the countdown continues to the Bicentenary Celebrations in 2022; the Inverness Highland Games is now at the heart of a three day festival.

The 2019 festivities commenced on Friday 19th July with performances by the City of Inverness Pipe Band; the Elizabeth Fraser School of Highland Dancing and members of the Inverness Branch of the Royal Scottish Country Dance Society; before the 2019 Highlands Strongest Man and Strongest Woman Championships took place before a large crowd in Northern Meeting Park.

On Games Day Saturday approximately 7000 spectators were treated to one of the most spectacular Inverness Highland Games in recent years.  After a rousing performance by Prima Dance; there was a special cheer at the Opening Ceremony when the Games Committee marked the 100th Anniversary of the founding of the Inverness Royal British Legion Pipe Band by inducting the entire band into the Games’ Hall of Fame before the Mass Highland Fling.

Thanks to a much appreciated increase in on line registrations by competitors; a packed programme of track and field and Heavy events got underway at 12:30. With entries up on previous years; the crowd sat back to enjoy an afternoon of wonderful sport, which saw 7 new track records set by the Juniors and 2 unsuccessful (but warmly received) attempts at Games records in the Men’s WOB (at 17 foot 3) and the Women’s WOB (at 16 foot) by the two Heavies who eventually emerged as Champions.

Reigning SHGA World Champion Vladislav Tulacek (Czeck Republic) won the Men's event and 2017 World Lightweight Champion Katie Crowley (USA) was victorious in the Women's.

As usual the struggle to launch the 252 lb Stonemason’s Stone at the end of the day generated the biggest cheer and when Luke Crowley (USA) managed to clear the bar suspended 5 foot in the air it seemed as though the whole of Bught Park erupted in joy. It really was a special moment.

Making a welcome return to the event were the 19th Regiment Royal Artillery and the Highland Gunners were just one of the attractions in a show field that contained Scotland’s Biggest Inter Clan Gathering, Highland Dancing, the Exclusively Highlands Craft Fair, Horne’s Fun Fair and the prestigious Solo Piping competitions organised by the Inverness Piping Society.

The weekend ended on Sunday with the introduction of 2 new events which attracted an estimated 10,000 spectators to Sunday's Inverness Gala Day. Following the Junior Shinty Festival an estimated 10,000 spectators gathered in Bught Park for the Highland LGBT Forum’s Pride event Proud Ness and to enjoy all the fun of the first Highland Games for Dogs with Attitude Ruff Ness.

With new attractions being added all the time – and thousands of new friends discovering that Inverness is the only place to be on the 3rd Saturday in July each year - we really cannot wait to see what lies in store in 2020.

See you on 18th July 2020!

Gerry Reynolds MSc
Inverness Events Manager
The Highland Council