Despite the snow, wind and rain – Summer starts here!

Junior Highland Games
Junior Highland Games

FIGHTING SNOW ON the spring public holiday is not perhaps expected – but with forecasters hinting that things are warming up then a trip outdoors today is not, after all, out of the question.

Gordonstoun School is the place to head for today with the 27th Junior Highland Games taking place on the Junior School playing fields from 11am until 5pm – and a bonus is that both entry and parking is free of charge.

The Junior Highland Games at Gordonstoun are held annually and this year brings together 11 local teams from Buckie to Forres, in a traditional adult style Highland Games. All proceeds from the event are donated to local charities nominated by the Junior School parents and this year’s chosen charities are Stepping Stones and Friends of Chernobyl’s Children (FOCC).

The event is open to the general public and all within the local community are encouraged to attend.

This year’s games will include traditional events such as caber tossing, haggis hurling, piping, pipe drumming, highland dancing, Scottish country dancing, tug o’ war, slippery pole and many others. Plenty of entertainment is being laid on including the school’s Pipe Band, Sing Moray Choir, Highland Dancing and a visit from Morayvia.

Marquees will host a variety of stalls and there are plenty of food outlets including a BBQ.

Simon Reid, Principal of Gordonstoun said: “The Junior Highland Games at Gordonstoun is a firmly established event in the Moray Calendar and we are very much looking forward to another fun packed day this year. It is a great Saturday family outing and I would encourage as many people as possible to come and join us on the day.”

Pipes and drums aplenty in Elgin today (pic: Elgin BID)
Pipes and drums aplenty in Elgin today (pic: Elgin BID)

Meanwhile Elgin is holding their special Scottish Theme Day with stalls throughout the Plainstones – including pipe band and other entertainments to keep everyone occupied. These include the RAF Lossiemouth & District Pipe Band, Elgin & District Band, Huntly & District and Strathisla bands.

There will be Scottish cooking demonstrations, the results of the Children’s Scottish short-story competition, Farmers Market and plenty of entertainment to keep the young ones occupied.

As if that is not enough then of course the Spirit of Speyside Whisky Festival is also taking place throughout the weekend with its 500+ events throughout Moray and Speyside – check for details of what is on, where it’s on and how to get tickets if they are needed.

You could also do worse that returning to Gordonstoun on Sunday, when the school is celebrating its connection with the Duke of Edinburgh Awards Scheme, which was started right here in Moray.

Throughout the weekend the roots of the DofE scheme will be celebrated with a ‘Homecoming Challenge’ that sees 28 students from seven Moray schools taking part. That involves, over two days, a cycle from Balmoral to Tomintoul, walk and cycle from Tomintoul to Aberlour, canoe from Aberlour to Fochabers and a litter pick from Fochabers to Gordonstoun.

The challenge comes to a close at Gordonstoun on Sunday, when participants will arrive at the Gordonstoun Mountain Rescue before making their way to the North gates at 4.30pm.

At 5pm homecoming challenge participants will be joined by DofE Gold Award holders from the last 60 years who will march from the gate to the south lawn headed by the Gordonstoun Pipe Band.

There they will be addressed by the Principal, Simon Reid, while a message from HRH the Earl of Wessex will be read by Grenville Johnston, the Lord Lieutenant of Moray.