EXCITEMENT is building on the Rosneath peninsula ahead of one of the biggest days in the area’s events calendar – the Rosneath Peninsula Highland Gathering.

Competitors and spectators are expected to flock from far and wide to the Howie Park in the village, which will host the Gathering on Sunday, July 15.

Featuring solo piping, Highland dancing, cycle races and track, field and heavy athletics events, the Gathering promises to be a fun day out for all the family.

The Gathering’s secretary, Evelyn Smith, told the Advertiser: “Last year we had more than a thousand people attending and we’re hoping the good weather holds out for this year.”

For the third year in a row the Gathering’s chieftain will be Captain Craig Mearns, commanding officer of HMS Neptune, the shore-based establishment at the nearby Faslane naval base and a former pupil of Rosneath Primary School.

Captain Mearns and the Helensburgh Clan Colquhoun Pipe Band will lead the Gathering parade from the foot of Ferry Road in the village to Howie Park ahead of the opening ceremony at 1pm.

Ms Smith added: “Captain Mearns told us last year that he would be delighted to be our chieftain again and we’ll be delighted to have him with us.”

The event’s dancing, solo piping and heavy events are expected to attract visiting competitors from all over Scotland, with past Gatherings having seen people travel from as far afield as Campbeltown, Newburgh, Blair Atholl and Grantown-on-Spey, as well as a healthy contingent of local entries from Helensburgh and Lomond, in the hope of winning one of the many prizes on offer.

And even if you’re not taking part in any of the events, there’s still plenty of family-friendly fun to be had.

Ms Smith continued: “We’ll have lots of stalls, including ‘walk on water’ hamster balls, children’s rides, refreshment stalls, a beer tent and much, much more.

“It’s all organised by volunteers and I think that’s the secret of our success. No-one is paid for what they do – it’s all done for the love of the event and to support the community, and it’s great to see the community coming together to help.”

The gates open at 9am, with the solo piping competition – one of the highlights of the summer calendar for pipers from all over Scotland – getting under way at the same time and the Highland dancing competition starting at 11am.

Admission to the Gathering is £5 for adults, £3 for concessions, £2 for children and £10 for a family ticket.