International visitors are set to receive a warm welcome from Stirling’s business community as they arrive for the return of the city’s renowned Highland Games.
The event, which takes place on Saturday August 20, will be the first in-person Games for three years and visitors from across the world have already snapped up tickets.
Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce is among business organisations sponsoring the Games and will be providing overseas guests, from Europe, USA and Canada, with offers and information about what the Stirling area has to offer.
Grandstand ticket holders – 90% of whom come from overseas – will be gifted a 100% natural cotton sustainable bag featuring samples from traders attending the Games and souvenirs from local tourist attractions.
Chamber President Lynn Blaikie said: “We’ve been supporting Stirling Highland Games for several years now and are always looking for ideas to help raise the profile of the event and showcase the businesses involved with it.
“The gift bag will be provided to all 150 Grandstand ticket holders who are predominantly from the USA, Canada, France and Germany and aims to help businesses open potential new markets and reach more customers.
“Stirling Highland Games is a fantastic community event which brings people together and attracts an enormous number of international visitors and we’re delighted to see it return this year.
“It provides a real boost to the local business community by bringing in so many visitors from overseas and across Scotland and the rest of the UK.
“In addition to attending the Games, they visit our shops, attractions, restaurants and hotels benefiting Stirling companies at a crucial time as they begin to bounce back from the difficulties of the last couple of years.”
She added: “Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce is committed to seeing businesses and the Stirling community thrive and the Highland Games, which get bigger and better every year, are a major asset and tradition which we want to see grow and continue to be a brilliant legacy for the city.
“We are hugely looking forward to this year’s event and already exploring new initiatives for taking our support and sponsorship up a notch next year.”
Businesses featured in the gift bag – which is designed by Forth Valley Chamber member McAlpine Graphics – include Highland Games traders Ellis Gin and Purist Gin who are providing discount vouchers.
The bag also includes cans of beer and miniature gins from Glasgow Beer Works who are running bars at the Games and rugby balloons from Scottish firm BubaBloon.
Meanwhile, the Wallace Monument has gifted souvenir pens and Chamber member the University of Stirling has donated discount vouchers for use at university venues and the Stirling Court Hotel.
Stirling Highland Games President Matt McGrandles said: “We’re incredibly grateful for the Chamber’s backing and ongoing support for the Games.
“It’s great to have them on board, especially this year as we return to our first in-person event since 2019 and navigate our way to securing vital sponsorship once again.
“Tickets are selling well for the Games and we’ve sold all our Grandstand tickets – which are extremely popular with overseas guests – already.
“We’re now putting the finishing touches to the event and getting ready to welcome in all our visitors, athletes, participants, sponsors and traders to enjoy a fantastic day filled with a host of activities, entertainment and superb food and drink.”
Stirling Highland Games runs from 10.30am until 5pm on Saturday August 20 at Stirling Sports Village and tickets can be bought in advance or on the day.
The packed schedule includes traditional and adaptive heavyweight competitions and the gruelling Bruce Challenge, unique to the Stirling Games, which sees strongmen carrying two boulders weighing over 164kg as far as possible.
There will be highland dancing, on-site heritage tours, athletics, children’s activities and performances from Stirling Gaelic Choir and local pipeband The Balaklava Pipes and Drums.
Stirling Highland Games also features an unrivalled food and drink experience showcasing four artisan food trucks and the Traders Village Marquee with around 30 award-winning producers from across Scotland.
The event attracted 5,500 ticket-holders in 2019 and organisers hope even more people will attend this year.
In addition to Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce, local sponsors include Stirling Council, Active Stirling and Specsavers Stirling.
For more details on Stirling Highland Games and to book tickets, visit www.stirlinghighlandgames.com
For more details on Forth Valley Chamber of Commerce, visit www.forthvalleychamber.co.uk