Published: 10/08/2017 16:44 - Updated: 10/08/2017 16:50

Last hurrah for Forres piping festival

CHILDREN will be the focus of the final Piping At Forres next year.

Since 2013 the European Pipe Band Championships has been held in the town’s Grant Park, attracting thousands of spectators.

However Forres Event’s Limited, the company that organises the event has decided not to bid to hold the competition third time round.

For its last hurrah Piping at Forres will participate in The Year of Young People, a Scottish Government backed venture recognising the value children bring to society.

Alan James, chairman of the event’s organisers, said: "We are pleased that Piping At Forres 2017 included so many young people, including over a thousand young competitors, and exciting hands-on activities for younger visitors.

"We are already planning how we can build on that and make Piping At Forres 2018 even more exciting for all our visitors, competitors and volunteers, but with an additional focus on younger people."

Mr James added: "Forres is now known by thousands as a place that gives a warm welcome to visitors, that has a beautiful park and countryside and that is worth visiting more than once."

Run by volunteers and on a not for profit basis, Piping At Forres has brought an estimated £1 million each year to the local economy since its inception.

Mr James said: "Our volunteers, sponsors and local businesses provide dedicated and magnificent support for the event but we think that after June 2018 the time will be right for a change.

"Forres can and does put on excellent events and this gives us an opportunity to think about supporting the community in new and different ways.

"We are already in discussion with potential sponsors and stall holders to see how we can further develop some of the highlights of this year’s event to make Piping At Forres 2018 the best yet.

"We know that some of the bands from Australia are hoping to be able to come back to Forres next June so we hope to have an excellent turnout of competitors."

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