Hundreds flocked to Daylesford on Saturday to celebrate Scottish culture for the Daylesford Highland Gathering.
Despite a bigger turnout than the last gathering, committee members say it remains challenging to involve young people in the event.
Daylesford Highland Gathering secretary Cameron Telfer said attracting more young people to participate and join the organising committee would secure the future of the well-loved celebration.
“The committee members are all ageing – I’m the youngest at 70. We have to get younger people on the committee and younger people to the event. Pipe bands and dancing groups work hard to do that, but they are struggling,” he said.
This year’s event featured a mini highlands games for children, which attracted around 50 young participants.
The organising committee also introduced a first time competition for bagpipe and drum players to take on a modern song during the massed pipe bands performance.
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More than 14 bands and two dance groups performed in Daylesford throughout the day, beginning with a march along Vincent Street.
Mr Telfer said the committee would aim to attract more bands to compete at next year’s gathering.
“In the past we have had as many as 27 or 28 bands which ensures good competition and big crowds.”
Bands from Ballarat Grammar and Federation University were highly regarded in this year’s competition.
While local bands from Maryborough, Daylesford and Ballarat featured in performances, many travelled from further afield, as far as Warrnambool and Geelong.
Stallholders sold Scottish themed goods, while band competitions, solo drumming, and dancing kept crowds entertained throughout the day.
The Highland Gathering has celebrated Scottish culture, music and dance in Daylesford since its beginnings in 1952.
It has run for 67 years, with only one cancellation in 2017 due to weather. The gathering was founded by Dan McKinnon as a way to highlight Scottish culture in the region and has long received support from the Scottish community.
“It is important to keep in the public eye that there are all sorts of cultures in this country. I come from Scotland and I am happy to have people see my culture,” Mr Telfer said.