THE 25th North Berwick Highland Games proved a “great day for everyone”, the event’s president has said, after a two-year hiatus due to Covid-19.

The games were due to hold their 25th event in 2020 but instead celebrated the milestone on Saturday at North Berwick’s Recreation Park.

John Starr, president of North Berwick Highland Games, told the Courier that the event was “excellent”.

He said: “It was a great day for everybody, a beautiful event for everyone, from the spectators to the competitors.

“Not having the games for two years, it was just a great event.

“Our competitors were very happy to compete again.”

With 45 bands – including Preston Lodge High School and Dunbar Royal British Legion – competing for several grades of pipe band titles, and 114 Highland dancers of all ages up against one another, Mr Starr said that the entertainment on offer was a “wonderful show” for visitors.

Mr Starr added: “I reckon there were in excess of 7,000 to 8,000 people there.”

The pipe bands and dancers were joined by ‘heavy event’ athletes taking part in disciplines including tossing the caber.

Families were also kept constantly entertained and catered for, with craft stands, food and drink stalls, fairground rides, a demonstration by members of the Lammermoor Stick Dressing Society, and a static display by the armed forces.

Haddington and North Berwick Pipe Bands marched through the town afterwards, along with Highland dancers and The Gospel Choir, North Berwick.

Mr Starr said: “That was well attended by hundreds of people. They were often five people deep.”

The games president admitted that Covid had affected the number of overseas pipe bands travelling to the event this year but added: “We’ve had 104 bands before and we normally have a good contingency of overseas bands travelling but they all made a great day of it and put on a wonderful show for everyone.”

Councillor John McMillan, Provost of East Lothian was chieftain for the day, and Mr Starr said: “He thoroughly enjoyed it.”