Strathmore Highland Games is ready to roll out the welcome mat to a host of international visitors this weekend.
And after a two-year pandemic break, organisers cannot wait to see the crowds back at Glamis Castle on Sunday.
The feeling is shared by visitors who have been able to book online for the first time in the event’s history.
Spectators from the US, Canada, Australia and across Europe have already snapped up tickets .
And the competitors include a Hawaiian heavyweight and Australian Highland Dancers.
Highland Games bring a multi-million pound boost to Scotland’s economy each year.
The summer season circuit is already back up and running.
However, Strathmore set their regular date and were determined to be back at the castle which has been the event’s home since 2000.
It was previously known as Forfar Highland Games and held in the town’s Lochside Park.
Air of positivity
Lorna Cochrane of the games committee said: “After two years’ away, everyone is so excited to get back to it.
“There is so much positivity around things getting going again – and a real sense of relief.
“It has changed our outlook on things.
“People like to plan ahead, especially if they’re visiting from abroad.
“It’s meant we’ve been able to see sales from around the world to people who will be coming to enjoy the games on Sunday.
“But of course folk will still be able to pay at the gate on the day.
“And we have kept our prices pegged to try and make it a really good value family day out.”
Strathmore usually draws a crowd of around 1,800 spectators and a full competitive programme is lined up.
“We’ve added an extra junior heavies category this year,” said Lorna.
“The junior cycling and running events are also looking strong.”
But a clash with the UK Championships has meant the cancellation of the games’ pipe band competition.
“We haven’t got a band competition but there will still be bands on the field to give us the atmosphere everyone loves,” she added.
“And we’ve partnered up with Appetite for Angus who will have their own local arena to promote the best Angus has to offer.
“We have this great platform to offer the area’s food and drink to so many overseas visitors – it’s just an ideal opportunity we can’t afford to miss.”
The event’s official opening is at noon, by games chieftain Willie Oswald from Carnoustie.
“Willie formerly worked with Enstone Thistle and Breedon and has been a loyal supporter of the games since they began more than 50 years ago at Lochside Park in Forfar,” Lorna added.
“We are delighted to be able to show our appreciation to Willie and his wife, Sandra, this year by asking him to step into the role of chieftain.”
Look out for a full gallery of pictures from Strathmore Games on The Courier website on Sunday.