THE Luss Highland Games take place this weekend – with a new chieftain at the helm for the first time in 37 years.

Sir Malcolm Colquhoun of Luss passed the responsibility to his eldest son, Patrick Colquhoun, Younger of Luss, ahead of the 2018 Games, which take place in the picturesque village this Saturday, July 7.

The event promises to attract thousands of visitors to Luss for the biggest one-day event in the village’s annual calendar, with competitors and spectators alike heading to the shores of Loch Lomond for one of the best-loved events on Scotland’s Highland Games circuit.

Among the visitors is a troupe of Highland dancers travelling all the way from Australia to compete in the games for their first experience dancing outdoors.

The spectacle begins at 10.45am, when Patrick Colquhoun will march in front of the Helensburgh Clan Colquhoun Pipe Band from the centre of Luss to the Games field for the opening ceremony.

The day’s events programme includes competitive and fun track events for children, while for local athletes there are track, handicap and obstacle races as well as a hill race.

Open events include sprint and distance track races, as well as an obstacle race, cycle race and a ‘kilted dash’, while there’s also a special race for overseas visitors to the event.

On top of that there are Highland dancing competitions throughout the day, performances by the Helensburgh Clan Colquhoun Pipe Band and the tribal drummers from Clann an Drumma, as well as a local piping competion, five-man tug-o-war and the heavy athletic events which are a favourite feature of every Highland Games, alongside wrestling and ‘strongman’ competitions.

This year, along with all the traditional games, the organisers are reinstating two popular events from the past – a pillow fight competition, sponsored by Donald Cairns and Son Fencing Contractor, and ‘tilt the bucket’, sponsored by Gordon Aitchison of Aitchison Contracts Limited.

Patrick Colquhoun, Younger of Luss, said: “I am delighted to have been handed the role of Chieftain of Luss Highland Games by my father Sir Malcolm Colquhoun.

“We are very privileged to have an extremely driven and hard-working games committee who deliver what is arguably one of the best Highland games in the whole of Scotland.”

At the handover ceremony, held at the Loch Lomond Arms Hotel in the village, Sir Malcolm presented long service awards to two members of the Luss Games committee, Peter Robertson and Peter Eaton, each of whom have helped organise the event for more than 45 years.

Sir Malcolm added: “Moving on is part of life, and after 35 years as Luss Games chieftain, I felt the time had come to do that and to pass the baton to a younger generation.”

Peter Robertson said: “I would like to convey my deep appreciation to the committee for the presentation. It will serve to remind me of all the happy times I had at the Games.

“Luss Games is one of the old traditional games and should be proud of the fact that it has managed to stand on its own feet without public funding.

"I wish the committee all the best for this year’s games and for succeeding years.”