Mass clan march adds to Games spectacle

By Anna Wallis

A change by the host Keith Clan to the clan march at the Turakina Highland Games improved the spectacle, says one of the organisers.

More than 1200 people and 15 clans packed the Turakina Domain in Cameron Rd for the 149th games.

Debbie Benton said with the township having just 100 residents, most of those who came were from outside Turakina and among the visitors this year were Australians and Canadians.

This year Keith Clan switched things up a bit, with a mass clan march around the domain, gathering people as it went.

"The change meant people were picked up as they went round, which was much more entertaining."

A mass highland fling in the centre of the arena, rather than on the stage, was also popular.

"It meant people could form a circle round them, another first for this year."

Mrs Benton said the good weather attracted the biggest crowd in many years.

"Usually, it's about 1000. It was a record crowd, and the weather was perfect, and there was no wind."

The Lions Cube cash bar ran out of beer and had to get restocked, she said.

"This year the evening was also one of the best in a long time, with a live band and a barbecue which was really well attended. Kontiki Tangle played late into the night. There was lots of dancing, it was just glorious."

With the 2013 games packed away, thoughts have turned to the 150th.

A special single malt whisky will be imported from Ben Nevis distillery in Scotland to mark the occasion, and sold at Turakina's Ben Nevis pub.

"The tavern is almost as old as the games, I think, so it's appropriate. "We have several international judges for the games, with a couple from Scotland already booked."

Mrs Benton said organisers are looking for sponsors "to get on board" for the 150th games, which are on January 25, 2014.


- Wanganui Chronicle

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