Final preparations are under way for the annual Helensburgh and Lomond Highland Games this weekend.

Event organisers are getting set for one of the busiest days in Helensburgh’s year, with thousands of locals, and people from abroad, expected to attend the event on Saturday, June 2.

Last year, people from 22 different countries travelled to Scotland for the one-day event.

Sephton MacQuire, the Games’ chairman, said: “This year I have had loads of emails from abroad.

“Someone from a Texas university said she was bringing 20 people across and 20 French rugby players are also planning to visit while they’re on holiday.”

Gates to the Games next Saturday open at 9.30am and the day begins at 10am with local primary school activities and the Highland dancing competition.

The official opening ceremony will be led by the event’s patron, Sir Malcolm Colquhoun of Luss.

This will be followed by the adult solo piping competition as it comes back to the Games for the first time since 2008.

Some of the day’s biggest crowd pullers will be heavy events, featuring some of the best “heavy” athletes in Scotland taking part, foot races for adults, school pupils and toddlers, Scottish wrestling competitions, and a hill race over 7.5km to the top of Tom-na-Airde.

There will also be three championship events including the British 90m, 200 metre foot race and 22lb shot put.

While some people’s focus will be on the Games and competing, there’s fun for the whole family with a bouncy castle, magician, and toddler races.

More than 40 stall holders will attend the event selling jewellery, and crafts and food and drinks.

The event organisers are running a shuttle bus service from 9.30am to take people to the event at Helensburgh Rugby Club grounds on Rhu Road Higher.

The Helensburgh and Lomond Highland Games take nearly a year to arrange, with a team of dedicated volunteers working hard on it.

The modern-day Highland Games in Helensburgh were started in 2008, however, the tradition of holding Highland Games in the town dates back to the 19th century.

Mr MacQuire said: “We look forward very much to welcoming the people of Helensburgh and Lomond and visitors from the UK and abroad to the 2018 Helensburgh and Lomond Highland Games.”

According to the Games’ website (, the first Highland Games to be held in Helensburgh is believed to have been held in 1898 in Larchfield Park, with Sir James Colquhoun of Luss as President.

It was considered so successful that it was extended considerably in the following years.

Early highlights included a wrestling duel in 1899 between Piper MacPherson of the Royal Scots and Charles McIntosh from Motherwell, who apparently “wrestled for most of the afternoon”, and the bout eventually had to be declared a draw.

Entry to this year’s Games costs £5 for adults, £3 concessions and £2 for under-16s.