HIGHLAND sports like tossing the caber, the stone put and the kilted dash are fast becoming the main attraction at the Maclean Highland Gathering.
Gathering secretary Bob McPherson said the highland sports began about a decade ago as something to amuse the crowd before the pipe bands began playing.
"It's reached the stage where we've got a full day of events and more than 200 people coming to compete," he said.
"What started out as novelties and fun events are now seen as the main attractions for the gathering."
It's a sentiment Maclean resident and expatriate Scot Norman Gray echoes.
"You can have a pipe band performing and people are watching and applauding, but when something happens at the hammer throw or log wrestling there can be a huge roar from the crowd," he said.
Mr Grey, who has retired from active competition, now throws himself into the organising the games.
"It started out as a way of getting people involved in the festival," he said.
"Rather than have spectators standing about, we decided to give them something that will challenge them. And they loved it.
"We've adapted some of the equipment like the poles they toss so they're not as long or as heavy as the original, but still provide a good test and a challenge."
He said the sports help make the games relevant through the years.
"Basically it gives everyone something to do when they come here for the gathering. Mum can go to the highland dances, dad can go the heavies and the kids can get into the running races."
Maclean Shopping Centre Main Street
8.30: Bands on Parade - Competition Best Presented Band on Parade
Saturday Maclean Showground
9.00: Highland Dancing Contest Commences
10.36: Pipe Band Contest Starts - Grade 4 commences
10.00: Highland Sport Registration
12.30: Lunch Fast Food & Refreshments Available
1.00: Official Opening
1.00: Drum Major Dress Inspection
2.00: Band Contest Grade 3 Commences
2.40: Drum Major Solo Contest - Duty Band Maclean
3.00: Band Contest Grade 2 Commences
3.45: Special Presentation Brisbane Boys College Pipe Band No. 1
4.00: Massed Band Display
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