A Tale of Two Halves; Historical Revival for Gordon Castle Highland Games

The Gordon Castle Country Fair and Highland Games steps back in time to celebrate the Castle’s heyday on 20th and 21st May 2017.

Gordon Castle’s annual event is expanding to include a historical revival as part of Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology. Attracting crowds of 10,000 from near and far, the new Saturday event seeks to encourage visitors to dress in period costume – with the aim to recreate the Castle’s glory years of 1900s to 1940s when it welcomed crowds of over 30,000.

From the roaring twenties to the pre-war thirties, the Vintage Village will focus on traditional skills including weaving, fashion through the eras, big band performances, vintage vehicles and historic agriculture. In addition, rare breeds, heavy horses and racing pigs will also be exhibiting. Appealing to all audiences, the Saturday will include a charity ‘We’re a Knockout’ competition, in collaboration with Moray Licensed Traders to raise money for Alzheimers Scotland.

Angus Gordon Lennox, owner of Gordon Castle says, “It’s very exciting and rewarding to be expanding this family friendly event to two days for the first time in over a century. Not just because it will act as a tribute to the period in which the castle enjoyed its heyday, but also to play a key part in the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology celebrations, in which we are a partner programme event.”

Stuart Turner, Head of EventScotland, said: “Gordon Castle Country Fair and Highland Games is a significant event for the North East of Scotland and we are delighted to be supporting them through our Beacon Funding Programme to extend it into a two day offering.

In the Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology it is fitting that the Games will celebrate Gordon Castle Estate’s rich history and heritage through the addition of the Vintage Village with a fantastic family programme of big band music, vintage fashion and traditional craft demonstrations.”

Channelling the very essence of the Games, Sunday’s programme invites visitors to witness a world-record attempt in the Scottish 28lb Weight for Distance Championships. The traditional Highland Games day will continue to pay homage to heavy sporting events including the hammer throw, caber toss and tug of war. For those looking to sample country life, gun dog displays, pig racing and falconry displays will be just some of the experiences on offer in the Country Sports Arena.

For gin lovers, the Gordon Castle Gin bar will continue to be a popular feature as it showcases the Estate’s home-grown small batch botanical gin. In addition, the event will also play host to more local food and drink producers than ever before, as well as a dedicated craft and gift marquee. Sit back, relax and enjoy the sounds of pipes, singers and fiddlers as award-winning musicians take to the stage. Ghillie Basan, the local ‘Spice Girl’, renowned journalist and chef will be welcoming visitors into the food court with her unique spice experience.

Together the two-day event - brought back to life by the current owners - will engage, inspire and inform visitors about the history and heritage engrained in Moray, Speyside and, in turn, Scotland. The event will be held in the picturesque grounds of Gordon Castle Estate in Fochabers on Saturday 20th (11:00 – 18:00) and Sunday 21st May 2017 (10:00 – 17:00). For information about the event visit www.gordoncastlehighlandgames.co.uk

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