Free entry to 2014 Cowal Highand Gathering for Cowal primary pupils

Cowal Highland Gathering is providing local families with another incentive to join the thousands of people who will flock to Scotland’s premier highland games event. Their primary school children will get in for nothing.

Every primary pupil in Cowal will receive a voucher when they return to school next month, entitling them to free admission to the event, with a paying adult.

The promotion, sponsored by Inveraray Jail, was announced at the same time as tickets for the event became available through the Games office in Dunoon’s Hillfoot Street – as well as via its website here.

Ronnie Cairns, the Games’ Chair, says that the event organisers wanted to give local youngsters every possible encouragement to join in the fun: ‘We have worked very hard over the last year or so to ensure that we cement our reputation as one of Scotland’s top family events, and we’ve managed to secure some fantastic entertainment for our younger spectators this year.

‘I’m delighted that every primary pupil in Cowal will be able to enjoy what’s on offer for free provided they come with a paying adult, and I’d like to thank Inveraray Jail for its generous sponsorship.

‘Of course, there is no extra charge for the entertainment once spectators are through the gates.  So once the vouchers have been distributed to children after the start of term, I’d encourage their parents to buy their own tickets as soon as possible and guarantee themselves and their families a wonderful day out.’

This year, the Gathering will feature bigger and better family and children’s entertainment than ever before.

Among the new additions are the world famous Clan Mountain Bike Stunt Team, the Drakes of Hazard sheepdog and duck display team and a pop-up 3D cinema from the Glasgow Science Centre.

In addition Artie Trezise, who spent 30 years as one half of The Singing Kettle – Scotland’s biggest children’s act – is returning by popular demand after the success of his ‘Artie’s Tartan Tales’ act last year.

There will also be ‘Come-and-try’ sporting arenas , including a mountain bike track as well as the ever-popular Cowal Kids Tent featuring the familiar mix of puppet shows, clowns, magicians and balloon benders and ceilidh music – as well as the excitement of the heart of the event – the contests in Highland dancing, pipe bands, traditional wrestling and heavy athletics.

On the final day

On the last day of the 2014 Games. there will also be entertainment on Dunoon’s Argyll Street throughout the day and evening, starting at 10.30am, with children’s games and entertainment in the Argyll Gardens led by Cheeko the Clown.

This will be followed by Canned Haggis, who will perform from the bandstand.

During the late morning and early afternoon that day, some of the pipe bands coming from the Queen’s Hall will be stopping to entertain the crowds on Argyll Street on their way to the stadium.

At about 1.45pm, a pipe band will lead the hill race runners from the Argyll gardens to the race start line by the Burgh Hall ready for the 2pm start. This is a serious 5km stamina challenge, running the Camel’s Hump.

Later in the evening, after the prize giving in the stadium, the bands will make their way back down Argyll Street displaying their silverware – and the trophys at the Games are one of the attractions to view in the Trophy Tent in the Stadium. Many are stunning historic pieces.

During this march of the bands, judges will decide on the most entertaining band, with the winner receiving £500 – courtesy of sponsorship from Dunoon restaurant, 51st State/La Cantina – and the re-introduced Davie Towie Trophy.

Two runners up will each receive £100, thanks to sponsorship from The Commercial and MacClures Bar.

Clanadonia, a tribal drum and pipe group, will also be on hand to entertain the crowds around the Argyll Gardens prior to the Western Ferries fireworks display.

Ronnie Cairns says: ‘There really will be something for everyone, with entertainment for all ages throughout the day. The town is already starting to buzz, with the event now only weeks away. We’re counting down to what we believe will be a Gathering to remember.’

This year’s Cowal Highland Gathering – taking place in association with charity partner, Children’s Hospice Association Scotland (CHAS) – runs from Thursday 28th to Saturday 30th August.

More information about the event and ticket purchasing is:

  • on the Gathering’s website here;
  • at the event’s office at 54 Hillfoot Street, Dunoon;
  • available by emailing the organisers:
  • or by phoning: 01369 703206.
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Related Articles & Comments

  • Thought games funded deeply by Argyll avg Bute council? Would have been nice to see all Argyll primary kids free.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 2

    Bob July 30, 2014 10:04 pm Reply
    • Bob, I agree. Families from across the rest of Argyll and Bute should boycott the games

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 5

      Sceptic1 July 30, 2014 10:48 pm Reply
  • Well said Bob.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 4

    Struan July 31, 2014 9:18 am Reply
  • Does it not say that Inverary Jail is sponsoring this initiative?
    Therefore it would be up to them to decide who can get free vouchers

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

    john July 31, 2014 1:06 pm Reply
  • The Council gives them £100k – the organisers can afford it. If it brings in a paying adult it will add more profit for the committee.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

    Isla August 1, 2014 11:34 am Reply

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