It’s time to tartan up because the Highland Gathering is back!

The 59th Highland Gathering Programme
The 59th Highland Gathering Programme

After a two-year hiatus, the KZN Upper South Coast town of Amanzimtoti will once again transform itself into the Scottish moors as kilted bagpipers, dancers and singers arrive for the 59th Highland Gathering. Taking place at Hutchison Park on Saturday, 30 April from 9am, this family-friendly festival brings back a number of firm favourites – with some exciting new additions to the line-up!

“We are delighted that we can finally bring back the popular Highland Gathering to Amanzimtoti and look forward to welcoming visitors from all over for this fantastic fundraising event,” said Amanzimtoti Lions President, Natalie Angelo. “We’ve organised a wide variety of entertainment this year to keep the entire family engaged, and we’re excited to announce legendary East Coast Radio presenter, Dave Guselli, as this year’s MC.”

The Highland Gathering is an annual fundraising event organised by NPO, Amanzimtoti Lions, and supported by Sapphire Coast Tourism. The gathering is renowned for its high standard of performances, stalls and events, having set the record for the highest number of pipe bands performing in South Africa in one day.

“After a long break, it’s really wonderful that Amanzimtoti is able to host the Highland Gathering this year,” said Romy Wenzel of Sapphire Coast Tourism. “Visitors come from far and wide to not only enjoy the day’s events, but take some time to explore the numerous family-orientated tourism sites and activities found here, including our warm beaches and spectacular nature trails. With the weather cooling, there’s also the chance of witnessing the spectacular Sardine Run, a world[1]famous event that attracts marine life close to the shore!”

The 59th Highland Gathering Programme

For the first time in the event’s history, the Highland Gathering is welcoming popular ECR DJ, Dave Guselli to oversee the day’s proceedings. Also new to the event are the DJ Tent and Performing Stage for those wanting to catch top-class local performances. Hungry patrons can then head over to the Food Corner where they’ll find a range of delicious, home-made goods that can be enjoyed in the Shaded Seating Area.

The event welcomes back teen singing sensation, Keely Crocker, who made a name for herself winning the vocal, singer, songwriter division for her age group in New York at the Federation of Performing Arts, as well as taking first prize at the Scottburgh Beach Festival Talent Search. This year, the talented musician returns to impress audiences with her captivating sound.

Another big drawcard is the return of Mr and Miss Highland Gathering beauty pageant which will be taking place form 1pm, with registration from 11.30am to 12.15pm. Hopeful competitors can enter in a number of age categories at a cost of R80 per entry. To enter, simply email [email protected].

The Highland Gathering is also adding to the ‘green theme’ this year by welcoming on board Clean Surf Project. This local non-profit organisation will be collecting most of the recyclable material that accumulates throughout the event and promoting environmentally friendly practices.

Also on the programme for this year’s Highland Gathering are:
1. Steel Drums
2. Rhythmic Dance Studio
3. Toti Hillbillies Line Dancing
4. Double Beat Drum Studio
5. Kidz Zone
6. Fashion Show
7. Arts & Crafts
8. Car Dealers
9. Singing
10. Pipers
11. Bar Tents
12. …and more!
Tickets to the Highland Gathering will be available at the venue. All funds raised from the Highland Gathering will be donated to the local community through a number of charitable Amanzimtoti Lions initiatives. The ticket prices are:
1. Adults – R50
2. Pensioners/Scholars – R30
3. Children under 6 years – Free
4. Secure parking via various gates at Hutchison park – R20 per vehicle
For more information, check out ‘Highland Gathering’ on Facebook.