North Berwick is getting ready to welcome back the town’s Highland Games, three years after the spectacle was last able to take place.

North Berwick Highland Games was first held in 1996 and had been due to mark its 25th anniversary in 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic hit.

The games will now celebrate its 25th edition when the action gets under way at Recreation Park next Saturday (August 6) for a day that is set to be the “biggest and best so far”.

John Starr, president of North Berwick Highland Games, was delighted to see the fun return.

He said: “After two years’ hiatus due to the pandemic, we are glad to get back to organising the event again for North Berwick and the county.

“We are doing everything we can to make it as successful as we can this year.

“It would have been the 27th anniversary but, after the last two years, this will be our 25th games, so it is a big event for us and it’s huge for the town and the county in particular.

“The bands travel from all over the world to come to North Berwick and most of them come back year on year.

“We are just crossing the t’s and dotting the i’s to make it as big a success as we can.

“The games will be fun for all ages; we’ve got pipe bands, Highland dancers, the heavy events, you’ve got stalls and crafts and beer outlets, so there is anything happening for anyone who wishes to come along.”

The event will bring together pipe bands from across the globe, as well as some of the best ‘heavy event’ athletes, and 15,000 visitors are expected to attend.

Throughout the grounds, traditional Highland sports such as tossing the caber and throwing the traditional wooden-shafted Scots hammer will be highlights of the day’s athletic endeavours.

In the south-west corner of the showground, Highland dancers of the Scottish Official Highland Dancing Association (SOHDA) from various age groups will display their skills, performing many different dances from the Highland Fling, Seann Truibhas, Strathspey and Reel to the Sailor’s Hornpipe. 

As well as the traditional events, there will be a variety of other activities to keep families entertained throughout the day.

Around the grounds there will be a large selection of craft and trade stalls, with plenty of options for food and drink, while fairground rides will be situated throughout the site to keep younger ones entertained.

Visitors will also be able to enjoy a demonstration from members of the

Lammermoor Stick Dressing Society, as well as a static display from the armed services.

At the end of the afternoon, all the pipe bands will take part in a parade into the arena, where they will salute the chieftain of the day.

This year, East Lothian Provost John McMillan will assume the honour of chieftain, with his wife Mary as deputy.

Mr McMillan said: “I am genuinely honoured to be made chieftain again.

“The Highland Games are an amazing day out for anybody.

“They are great for preserving our international and national links across the world.

“Economically, anything that brings visitors to the county has an obvious impact; all of these things have an effect on making people visit East Lothian.

“My role is to promote the county and offer my personal support for the event as Provost.

“I feel very proud and emotional, with great thanks to the organisers who kept it going, with a great committee.”

After the presentation of trophies, the pipe bands conclude the afternoon with the winning Grade 1 band playing them off the field.

To round off the day, a selection of pipe bands will perform on Quality Street, along with Highland dancers and Gospel Choir North Berwick.

The games starts at 9.30am, concluding at 4.30pm. Entry is £10 adults, £5 children, or £25 for a family ticket.

Tickets for the event can be bought at