THE world's biggest free pipe band competition is set to welcome more than 25,000 people to Dumbarton tomorrow (Saturday). The annual Scottish Pipe Band Championships, now in its 14th year, is to go ahead at Levengrove Park from 10am.

Held in the shadow of the historic Dumbarton Castle, a record number of visitors are expected.

This great family day out will feature more than 140 pipe bands from around the UK and abroad with bands travelling from as far afield as Brittany in France. Visitors will be entertained throughout the day with the annual Highland Dance competition with dancers from the Sandra Lees School of Dance in Jamestown.

Kids will have plenty to keep them occupied with West Dunbartonshire Leisure's Sports Zone on site for the first time to offer a range of free activities and games for all age groups.

They will be put through their paces at Soccer Skills School, Commonwealth Games Challenge, Clubgolf and Mini Sided Football games.

There will also be a fun fair in the park along with a food and drink area selling a variety of foods and refreshments.

A range of trade stalls selling an array of traditional Scottish items will also be on offer.

West Dunbartonshire Council's provost and chieftain, Douglas McAllister, said: "The Scottish Pipe Band Championship is a wonderful family day out and has grown into our most popular event with people travelling from all over the world to attend. We have a very strong partnership with the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, who along with the council, has built the event up over the years into a highly successful competition. I'm sure we can build on the success of last 15 years and showcase all that West Dunbartonshire has to offer, not only during the championships but all year round."

The championships are also a platform for developing and emerging new talent.

Last year over 20,000 people attended the event in Dumbarton, travelling from all over Scotland, the UK and as far afield as America.

Ian Embelton, chief executive of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, said: "The association looks forward to the Scottish Pipe Band Championships as this is one of our most popular events on our piping calendar. The competition has steadily grown with thousands of pipers and drummers from across the world travelling to Dumbarton to compete in their respective grades with each hoping to return home with the crown of Scottish champion."

A park and pay facility will be available at the venue, however due to the high volume of visitors expected to attend the event, organisers are encouraging the use of public transport.

Dalreoch Railway Station and buses into Dumbarton High Street are both in easy walking distance to the park.

Visitors who are driving to the event should adhere to the parking restrictions in and around the venue and follow advice from the stewards.