For the first time outside of World Wars, Pitlochry Highland Games has been cancelled.
Organisers of the autumn event say the cancellation was “inevitable” and have turned their focus to ensuring next year’s Games go ahead as usual.
The popular event has been running almost uninterrupted for 168 years, but the 2020 Games have been shelved over safety fears.
Spectators and athletes had prepared to descend on the town’s Recreation Ground on September 12. Instead, they will now need to wait until September 11, 2021.
After much deliberation, the committee behind the event had reached the point where confirming arrangements had to be made with competitors and judges, as well as some of the events booked in addition to the 33 pitches allocated for traders.
Pitlochry Games usually sees an audience of more than 4,000 visitors flock to the Highland Perthshire town’s recreation ground on the second Saturday in September.
The cancellation was confirmed by Games Chieftain Charles Butter, who was preparing for his 10th in charge since taking on the role from his late father.
He said: “The Games Committee had to take the disappointing but inevitable decision to cancel this year’s event.
“Although Pitlochry is the last major highland games of the season, it is evident that the continuing pandemic and government guidance makes it impossible for us to hold our games.
“I very much hope that life returns to some sort of normality next year when we can welcome the visitors and athletes back to continue the proud sporting tradition of Pitlochry Highland Games.”