Visitors to the Cowal Highland Gathering today had a taste of why the event has the reputation of being the world’s most spectacular Highland Games.

The crowds who gathered in Dunoon were treated to a feast of top quality Highland Dancing and solo piping. And the evening’s fun hasn’t even kicked off yet, with hundreds of people heading back to the show ground for 7.00pm to enjoy a fantastic night out at the eagerly anticipated Gig at the Gathering.

From the start of the very first event, there was never a dull moment with hundreds of top-quality dancers and pipers battling it out for coveted Cowal honours.

Those who arrived early were spoiled for choice, with the Scottish Highland Dancing Championships and junior solo piping competitions all taking place before lunch.

The Scottish Championships are one of three major dancing competitions being held during the Gathering. The others are the Argyllshire Championship and the World Championship, which both take place on Saturday.

The Local Juvenile Solo Piping competition took place in the morning, as did the Burgh Cup Competition for solo piping.

Among the winners in the Scottish National Championships, the main results were:

 Eilidh Gammons from Helensburgh in the 14 years section.

Morven Terrace from Dumfries in the 15 years section.

Innes MacKenzie from Fearn in the 16 years section.

In the junior solo piping section, Christopher Mccartan from Lochgilphead picked up the Burgh Cup. Camron Blue Macphail from Lochgilphead was second, picking up The Inglis Trophy and Sofaidh Stoddart from Dunoon took third, picking up The Campbell Birnie Trophy. The Best Dressed Playing Piper: Juvenile was Liam Nicolson from Table Top, New South Wales, Australia.

At lunch time, the popular Classic Car Display in the Alexandra Parade car park in the town proved a hit with locals and visitors alike.

Cowal Highland Gathering chair Ronnie Cairns said he was very happy with the way the event is progressing.

“It’s been a great first two days.  Today’s weather has been kind to us and as always the atmosphere has been brilliant,” he said.

“The fun’s by no means over for the day, as we’ve still got the Gig at the Gathering to come.  Every year the Gig proves to be one of our most popular elements, and I’m sure this year will be no different, with The American Rogues, Rhuvaal and headliners Ho-Ro set to rock the tent.

“The atmosphere at the Gig at the Gathering is always special, and this year especially we’re looking forward to all being back together. Let’s hope tonight’s audience all make it back to the showground tomorrow for what is traditionally the flagship day for this wonderful event, with a feast of dancing, piping and athletics and a vast array of additional entertainment.

“If you haven’t already got a ticket, I would urge you to come down to the stadium tomorrow and get a taste of what is always one of the most exciting days in the Highland Games calendar.

A full list of the results of all today’s action will be posted on the Gathering website as soon as possible.