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Town set to take tartan turn

ROTHAMSTED Park is gearing up for an annual fling at the Highland Gathering next month, 60 years on from the first-ever Scottish games in the district.

The July 16 event, one of the biggest of its kind outside Scotland, is expected to attract more than 8,000 people, with bagpipe bands, ceilidh dancing and other traditional Scottish fare promising to make it a lively day out for all the family.

Other attractions will include a funfair, classic car show, falconry display and beer tent, as well as a host of charity and commercial stalls and food outlets.

Highland dancing displays throughout the day will include The Sword Dance, The Sean Triubhas, The Reel of Tulloch, Highland Fling, The Sailor's Hornpipe and The Irish Jig.

Organised by the Harpenden Lions Club, the event will raise thousands of pounds for charity.

This year's proceeds will be divided between Community Meeting Point, Sue Ryder Care, Stagenhoe and local youth charities, including Herts Charity for Deprived Children and Herts Young Homeless Group.

The event, supported by the and Mid-Herts Caledonian Society, comes some 60 years after the first local Highland Games on June 22, 1946, at Beech Hyde Farm in Wheathampstead.

It moved to Clarence Park, , in 1949 and then to Rothamsted Park in 1950.

After a short break, the first games as we know them today took place at Harpenden Rugby Club in 1996 before relocating the next year to their traditional home in Rothamsted, where they have remained and grown in size and popularity.

Half price tickets for this year's gathering are available in advance at £3 from designated vendors or people can buy tickets for £6 at the gate.

Ticket vendors include WH Smith, Hairline, Silver Cup, Old Albanians Sports Club, Southdown Post Office and Station Road North Post Office and the train station's Crav'in Snack Bar in Harpenden, as well as Redbourn and Wheathampstead post offices and Tourist Information Centre.

Children under 16 go free when accompanied by an adult.

Tickets can also be obtained by credit card from www.harpenden-lions.co.uk at £3.50 including programme cost and postage. The event runs from 10am to 5.30pm.


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