Rain fails to dampen spirits at Perth Highland Games
A slate grey sky greeted the opening of Perth Highland Games as organisers looked to the heavens and crossed their fingers.
Early visitors enjoyed a vibrant start to the annual event on the city’s North Inch, from where the skirl of the pipes echoed through the heart of the city.
More than 40 top pipe bands were represented at the games, among them nine Grade 1 Bands who will be competing at the World Pipe Band Championships in Glasgow at the weekend.
As the heavy events got under way and solo pipers performed for judges around the site, the bands made for a fine spectacle in front of good, early crowds.
There were also plenty of fun activities on offer for youngsters, together with a large number of stalls in the trade village.
Having threatened for three hours, the predicted rain finally began to fall at midday — and then continued to fall for much of the day.
Spectators huddled beneath umbrellas and wrapped against the elements, dived for cover in tents each time the downfall began to increase in ferocity.
It finally settled to a steady drizzle that continued throughout much of the annual event. To the dismay of organisers, the weather did seem to have an impact upon the number of people that turned out.
There was also a moment of anguish when it appeared that some of the pipe bands were fleeing the rain as buses moved about the games site.
Fortunately the news came back that most were simply awaiting their chance to perform aboard their vehicles, which were being moved in case they became stuck on the games ground.
Among their number were entrants from the US, Canada, Australia, Oman, South Africa and New Zealand — together with a number of high-calibre Scottish bands.
There were also more than 70 solo pipers and a large number of Highland dancers, who were fortunate to have a covered stage on which to perform.
Elsewhere within the arena, spectators peering through the drizzle were able to enjoy keenly contested track and cycling events and the heavyweight championship.
Organisers, meanwhile, dashed around the site, dodging the heaviest showers and doing their best to ensure that the rain had as little impact upon proceedings as possible.