BALLOCH is set to host thousands of visitors at a cultural festival this Saturday as part of the European Championships Glasgow 2018.

As Loch Lomond gears up to host the open water swimming competition, the area will host a fun-filled festival on August 11.

There will be a diverse range of participants, including performances from Urbaniks, an award winning urban dance group from Balloch, Scottish Opera, Feis Phaislig, Nevis Ensemble, samba drummers from Awestruck Academy in Clydebank, and local singer Chirsty Harkins.

Gordon Watson, chief executive of Loch Lomond and the Trossachs National Park, said: “Being selected to host the open water swimming competition at the inaugural European Championships is a huge boost for the local area and a fantastic opportunity to showcase everything Loch Lomond and the wider national park has to offer to a worldwide audience.

“The festival will celebrate the work of local community groups and encourage spectators to spend more time in Balloch, boosting the local economy.

“It will be a fun filled day for the whole family with plenty to see and do and we look forward to welcoming visitors and competitors from near and far to what will undoubtedly be an exciting few days of events.”

The Glasgow 2018 mascot, Bonnie the Seal, will also make an appearance in Balloch during the festivities.

The festival will also have wide variety of food and drink on offer from local producers, and a bar run by the popular Loch Lomond Brewery.

Performances will take place throughout the day in various locations around Balloch, with Moss O’Balloch hosting the main festival activity, followed by entertainment and special offers in local bars and restaurants in the evening.

The celebrations begin at 10.30am with a parade of 160 participants from Moss O’Balloch, to Loch Lomond Shores for 11.15am, and back again, creating a carnival atmosphere.