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One year to the world’s biggest Scottish Gathering

MEDIA RELEASE

25 July 2008

One year to go until the world’s biggest Scottish Gathering!


Edinburgh’s last remaining brewery will be rolling out the barrels at one of the largest international events being held in Scotland next year. Taking place on the 25th and 26th July 2009, The Gathering 2009 is one of the key events of next year’s Homecoming Scotland programme and is expected to be the largest international clan gathering and Highland Games ever held in Scotland.

Around 8000 clans people from around the world will take part in a parade along the Royal Mile and an anticipated 40,000 visitors will attend the Highland Games where the Heavy Events Championship will take place.

In partnership with Edinburgh’s Caledonian Brewing Company, the Deuchars World Highland Games Heavy Events Championship will be one of the key events during the two-day celebrations. Next year will be the 30th World Heavy Events Championship which has been organised by David Webster from Ayrshire since its inception in 1980. Scotland’s Grant Anderson won the inaugural title in Los Angeles and other notable winners include double Commonwealth gold medallist Geoff Capes, who was champion five years in a row between 1983 and 1987.

This year’s championship was won by American Sean Betz in West Virginia, and he will be defending his title next year at The Gathering 2009 in Edinburgh. Speaking at a photocall to mark a year until the event, he said:

“This is the most important games I have ever trained for, as they are part of a special event in what is an important year for Scotland. I am therefore really honoured to be competing in The Gathering 2009 in Edinburgh in Homecoming year.”

Speaking on the eve of the year-long countdown to the event, The Gathering 2009’s Co-Director, Lord Sempill, said: “We are delighted that such a well recognised Scottish brand is involved in The Gathering 2009. The Caledonian Brewery has played an important part in Edinburgh life for what will be 140 years in 2009, and it seems fitting that the capital’s one remaining brewery should join us to celebrate the culture and history of Scotland and the best our country produces in the 21st century.”

Tickets and Passports to The Gathering 2009 are available from www.thegathering2009.com. For further information on planning and booking a trip to Scotland during 2009 please visit www.visitscotland.com. \

Emirates Airlines offer direct flights from Australia and New Zealand into Glasgow in Scotland. House of Travel offer packages for all your Homecoming Scotland events and activities.

• Homecoming Scotland 2009 will celebrate the 250th anniversary of the birth of national poet Rabbie Burns. A year-long programme of events will run from January 25th until November 30th 2009 which focus on the themes Burns, Ancestry, Golf, Whisky and Great Minds & Innovation.

• The Gathering 2009, which is a one-off event being held during Homecoming Scotland 2009 and will celebrate the contribution made by the clans to the culture and history of Scotland.

o The Gathering 2009 events are: a Historic Pageant on Edinburgh Castle’s esplanade which will be attended by those taking part in the Clan Parade on the Royal Mile on the evening of 25 July, and the Highland Games in Holyrood Park on 25 and 26 July.
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o The Highland Games include: the Deuchars World Highland Games Heavy Events Championship; Highland dancing competition; elite solo piping competition; hill race and kilted fun run; massed pipe bands, traditional and contemporary music; traditional storytelling and children’s area; the best Scottish food, drink, textiles, arts & crafts; a clan village and a genealogy research zone.
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o As at 24 July 2008, there will be 140 clans represented in the Clan Parade, and 110 of those will have a presence in the clan village in Holyrood Park.
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o His Royal Highness Prince Charles, The Duke of Rothesay, is the Patron of The Gathering 2009.
o
ends

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