There aren’t too many events in Australia that can claim to have thrived and survived for over 150 years and after a two-year hiatus, the Maryborough Highland Gathering is back for its 160th instalment this New Year’s Day. Maryborough’s Highland Gathering was originally formed by Scottish squatters and businessmen in an attempt to recreate the New Year celebrations of their native home.
Today, the Highland Gathering attracts people from all across the country – athletes, dancers, musicians, and those who just want to soak up the incredible atmosphere of piped bands and traditional Scottish culture. The program has something for everyone.
A great way to celebrate the new year
A piped band street parade, all-day athletics, highland dancing on two stages all day, Highland games and traditional strongmen event. Track events on the day range from 70-metre sprints to middle-distance races over 1500 metres. There are events for both men and women, including veterans. The athletics program culminates with the running of the $15,000 Max Martin Memorial Maryborough Gift, contested over 120 metres; now one of the country’s most prestigious footraces.
Anyone who’s attended the event over the past 35 years will have a lasting memory of the Girl on the Drum spectacular that has become a highlight of the New Year celebrations. It features a highland dancer atop a base drum, lifted to the shoulders of three burly Scots. Flanked by a full piped band and other traditional dancers, it really is a sight and sound spectacular not to be missed. There is plenty to keep the kids entertained too, with games, sideshows and rides happening throughout the day. The day concludes with a free evening concert and fireworks display – a great way to celebrate the new year.
The Maryborough Highland Gathering takes place on January 1st, 2023 in Maryborough, Victoria. Entry to Princes Park is $16 for adults, $8 for seniors, with children under 16 free. For more information call 03 5461 1480 or visit www.highlandsociety.com.au.