Two weeks to go until Amanzimtoti turns tartan

Amanzimtoti is set to showcase the 53rd annual Highland Gathering, featuring 33 pipe bands from all over the country, on Saturday, 29 April 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 about 12,000 people, making it the largest public event to be hosted by the town.

“We have the biggest turnout of pipe bands in one single day – anywhere in the world,” said Lions president, Carol Botha.

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

Carol 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 complete non-profit event and proceeds are ploughed back into funding local development activities. Institutes and organisations which benefit from the Highland Gathering include Ethelbert Home, Jona Vaughan Home and Amanzimtoti Child Welfare.

Individuals have also received life-saving items such as regular diabetes testing, optometric services, wheelchairs, hearing aids, food and clothing.

Highland Gathering beauty pageant judges, Jeeten Singh, Ciara James and Shaun Stander with Amanzimtoti Lions president, Carol Botha at last year’s prizegiving.

While the tartan-clad dancers and bands will display their unique skills, visitors will have the opportunity to shop for a variety of foods, arts and crafts at a fleamarket.

There will be a dedicated, genuine crafts section where only bona fide, hand-made crafters will showcase their wares.

Entertainment will include a beauty pageant, modelling, a choice of at least 10 local music bands, as well as beer tents. There will also be a horse show in the arena.

According to Carol, there are still stalls available for the Gathering. Interested individuals can contact John West via email on [email protected]

Sornia Kanfer and Keely Crocker are flanked by Amanzimtoti Lions president, Carol Botha as they sing ‘Hallelujah’ with the 1 Medical Battalion Group Association Pipe Band at last year’s Highland Gathering.

A new element of a memorial sponsorship has been added to this year’s event, whereby companies or individuals that have a long history with the Gathering can sponsor a cash prize for various band sections.

“Perhaps you have lost a loved one who had particular ties with Scotland or just loved the Gathering. You’re welcome to make a donation in that person’s name and place a plaque to commemorate that affinity in a special corner on day of the event,” said Carol. Contact Lion Debbie Vosloo on 083-286-3883 regarding this.

Big Events 365 will host the Lifestyle Expo in conjunction with the Highlands Gathering. Visitors can expect to find interactive displays, and special expo deals and promotions. Exhibition space is still available in the house and garden, outdoor and leisure, as well as health and beauty categories, from as little as R680 per stall. For more information, email [email protected]

NGOs will also display their organisations. These include Pink Drive, Amanzimtoti Trauma Unit, and the Reach for a Dream Foundation. The Four Walls Pop-Up Restaurant will prepare scrumptious meals.

The Lifestyle Expo will have a dedicated kids’ zone with fun rides, games and entertainment. Geoffrey the Giraffe from Toys R Us will hand out balloons, stickers and gift bags between 10 and 11am.

READ MORE ABOUT FUN ACTIVITIES ON OFFER: Fun galore planned for #HighlandGathering

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

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, students R30, R20 for pensioners and children U10, while children under six enter for free.

Keep updated on the Facebook pagelifestyle expo amanzimtoti’.


Click on the words highlighted in red to read more on this and related topics.
To receive news links via WhatsApp, send an invite to 061 694 6047
The South Coast Sun is also on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest – why not join us there?

Do you have more information pertaining to this story?
Feel free to let us know by commenting on our Facebook page or you can contact our newsroom on 031 903 2341 and speak to a journalist.

(Comments posted on this issue may be used for publication in the Sun)

Earl Baillache

Latest News


Recommended Story x
Highest Lions honour goes to Amanzimtoti stalwart