Fort Nottingham Highland Gathering

Fort Nottingham Museum and surrounds
Public Holiday, Wed 9 August 2023
The calm quiet of sleepy hamlet, the beautiful Fort Nottingham, will be awoken to the distinctive sounds of bagpipes, drums, marching bands and all things Scottish, as the annual Fort Nottingham Highland Gathering joyously returns to the KZN Midlands – this time on Women’s Day holiday, Wed 9 August.
Inspired by the world famous Braemar Gathering, the Fort Nottingham Highland Gathering is typically a day of nostalgia, heritage and ancient tradition. All the rousing spectacle, athletic prowess and hauntingly beautiful music will be celebrated in abundance, with a contemporary family-friendly local twist. And being Women’s Day – there will be a special focus on women participants.
The core focus is as always the various Highland Games showcasing brute strength and stamina: tossing the caber; tug-o’-war, walk the weight, the kilted mile; hammer throw; weight over the bar and stone put.
This year, the public are welcome to join in the Kilted Mile taking place at 10.30am – a mixed terrain run literally up a hill (and down again) for one mile. The wearing of kilts is encouraged, but not compulsory! Runners can sign up on the day to join in. Numbers are limited, and tickets cost R100 to participate in the race, with all monies raised going to support local charities. The first 40 home in all categories receive a medal. The route is strewn with rocks, so sturdy shoes are essential!
The competitive athleticism is complemented by the grace and precision of Celtic dancing, piped bands… and of course, the rousing bag pipes. In attendance will be the Pietermaritzburg and the Durban Caledonian Society pipe bands. Each band will do a stage show and a field marching display, and they will perform as a massed band for the opening ceremony.
The fabulous Dundee Die Hards battle re-enactment group, will show off their marching and performing prowess; there will be a sword fighting display and a troupe of “dancing dogs” will be pirouetting in unified precision! Guests are invited to get into the spirit of the occasion by wearing tartan, eating shortbread and sampling whisky! There will be a cigar bar, and formal whisky tastings during the day.
Craft beers and artisanal spirits provided by Thistle Midlands Bar Services who will be stocking a fabulous range of craft beers from Nottingham Road Brewing Co as well as Lions River Brewery. They will have delicious raspberry G&T on tap, as well as a range of whiskies and other drinks.
This year’s event will again feature a range of stalls of locally-sourced market wares and Midlands based merchandise; food and beverage stalls; field demos, dog events and children’s activities. The Denis Hurley Centre Street Lit books will be selling pre-read fiction and reference books – many with a Celtic / Scottish theme; and children can get up close to look at a working fire engine which will be on the field, alongside the vintage and classic cars which will be on display, and on parade.
Well-behaved dogs on a leash are welcome.
Bring picnic blankets, sun hats, warm clothing and fold up chairs.
For updated info – Visit: Facebook: Fortnottinghamgames / Instagram: Fortnottinghamgames
Prebook your tickets on Quicket.

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