This year’s games is the 144th Edition and will take place on 19th Aug 2023
Always one of the largest and most popular amateur gatherings in the North, the Games have been an annual feature on Nairn’s calendar for 156 years. First held in 1867, the only interruptions have been the World Wars of the 20th century, and the pandemic in 2021/22. Games Day in Nairn is like New Year elsewhere – it is the time and the place to meet up with old friends, catch up with relatives and make new friends.
On the day itself, you will see some Piping and Junior Athletics in the morning. Then comes the March of the Massed Pipe Bands, which will leave Viewfield at 12.30pm and march by the traditional route down the A96 and into Crescent Road. On their arrival in the arena our special guest and Chieftain, Lord Cawdor will perform the opening ceremony. Then the afternoon programme begins at 1pm containing the usual thrilling mix of Track and Field, Piping, Dancing, Heavy Events and the Tug of War.
The ever-popular “Showies” (Fairground rides to those from other places!) are also on the Links for Games Day – and will all be gone the following day, as if by magic! The Games Arena is surrounded by local stalls for charities and businesses, and the very efficiently run hospitality tent, hosted this year as previously, by the Havelock. There are also plenty of places to get food and drink around the Links – including the Strathnairn Beach Cafe, James’ at the Putting Green, and the Sun Dancer cafe. You will find every cafe in Nairn busy for breakfast before the games, and every licensed premises in town busy after it. Many families bring picnics and make the day of it.
As far as we know, Nairn is the last remaining free Games in the Highlands. It is therefore the generosity of those who feed the buckets that help to make the whole event possible, and we are delighted to say that we have always found Nairn folk & visitors to be deeply generous. An enormously busy and fun day in Nairn!
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