Visit Amanzimtoti’s Highland Gathering and Lifestyle Expo

2017-04-26 06:00
The Amanzimtoti Highlands Gathering has the world’s biggest turnoutof pipe bands in one day. The bands picturedperformed last year.Photo:supplied

The Amanzimtoti Highlands Gathering has the world’s biggest turnoutof pipe bands in one day. The bands picturedperformed last year.Photo:supplied

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AMANZIMTOTI is set to showcase its 53rd annual highland gathering, which will feature 33 pipe bands from all over the country, on April 29.

This year’s highland gathering will be held at Hutchison Park. The gathering was originally adopted by the Amanzimtoti Lions Club in 1976 and it is the primary fundraising event of the club.

Over the years, the club has built up the event’s momentum, and this year it is expected to attract around 12 000 people, making it the largest public event to be hosted by the town.

Lions president Carol Botha said: “The club is overjoyed to be given recognition from the Pipe Band Association of Southern Africa. Because of the competition being so highly rated in South Africa, it warrants international judges, so the PBASS has awarded international recognition to the event.

“We have the biggest turnout of pipe bands in one single day, anywhere in the world,” she said proudly.

According to Botha, Ireland’s Terry Tulley will be judging the competition on the day. Last year was the first time the pipe band competition was adjudicated by a judge of international standing.

Botha added that Scotland has a week-long tattoo with a high number of pipers, but they don’t all play at one venue on the same day.

The highland gathering is a non-profit event and proceeds are ploughed back into funding local development activities. Institutes and organisations that benefit from the event include the Ethelbert Home, the Jona Vaughan Home and Amanzimtoti Child Welfare. Individuals have also received life-saving assistance such as regular diabetes testing, optometrist services, wheelchairs, hearing aids, food and clothing.

The lifestyle expo will have a children’s zone with fun rides, games and entertainment. Geoffrey the Giraffe, from Toys R Us, will be handing out balloons, stickers and gift bags between 10 am and 11 am.

Sapphire Coast Tourism’s Monique Botha said: “We are ecstatic that Amanzimtoti will again play host to the biggest annual event on the South Coast. Being held over a long weekend, we would like to encourage holidaymakers to head down to Hutchison Park to enjoy this great family event.

“We look forward to hosting the pipe bands, drummers and judges, as well as their families and supporters. We hope they enjoy the warmth of the Sapphire Coast’s weather and its hospitality.”

Entrance fees for the Highlands Gathering and Lifestyle Expo: adults R50, pupils R30, R20 for pensioners and children under 10, while children under six enter free.

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