Maryborough gears up for Highland event

DUST off your kilts - Maryborough's Highland Gathering will welcome the new year with its 153rd event.

Princes Park will be abuzz with activity on Wednesday with a celebration of all things Scottish.

There will marching bands, a dancer on a drum and plenty of grunt with brute strength on show for the Highland Heavy Games.

Highland Gathering Sports secretary Dennis Turner told the Bendigo Advertiser on Monday preparation for the event was on track.

"Everything's good," he said.

"We have the same number of bands performing in the street parade and on the ground as last year.

"So we have nine marching bands and one concert band.

"We have 565 athletics entries for the day, which is up on previous years.

"We also have the heavy games happening again with the heavy stones."

Mr Turner said two dancing groups would take to the stage.

Dancers from the Victorian Scottish Union and the Victorian Scottish Dancing Members Association will attend.

"They're camping here at the moment and I have to give them more passes because they have more entrants here than usual.

"So the dancing will be good down under the trees in the shade at the northern end of the ground."

Mr Turner said the weather forecast looked promising.

"I had a look at the forecast last night and it was showing 31 degrees  for Melbourne so if it's going to be 31 degrees in Melbourne it should be a few degrees warmer in Maryborough," he said.

"The athletics start at the ground at 10am, the street march is at 11am, the athletics go right through and then the mass bands will be around 5pm, culminating with the girl on the drum and the mass dancers up the front.

"The girl on the drum is one of the highlights."

Mr Turner said many volunteers were helping out behind the scenes.

"We have 50 or 60 volunteers helping over the couple of days leading up to the event and then also over the day," he said.

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