THOUSANDS of spectators and competitors flocked to Dumbarton at the weekend as the town welcomed the return of one of its flagship events.

After a three year hiatus due to Covid-19, the Scottish Pipe Band Championship saw more than 20,000 visitors attend as organisers hailed it their “best ever” event.

People from all across the globe including Ireland, Texas and Australia came to Levengrove Park at the weekend to celebrate the traditional music.

There were celebrations for Field Marshal Montgomery from Northern Ireland, which took the Grade 1 winners title.

Members were presented with their award by Douglas McAllister, provost of West Dunbartonshire Council and chieftain of the event, assisted by depute provost John Millar.

It was an event to celebrate

It was an event to celebrate

Provost McAllister said: “It was an absolutely fabulous day at Levengrove Park. Thankfully the weather stayed fair and the crowds came out what a spectacular show we’ve had, so it’s been a huge success.

“Over the years, the Scottish Pipe Band Championships has become one of the highlights of our events calendar. It combines the thrill and spectacle of competition, colour, culture and history with great fun for competitors, their families and all visitors and officials.

“After three years everyone is delighted to be back and it’s been tremendous to welcome everyone again to this perfect setting. It’s a match made in heaven.”

The Scottish Pipe Band Championships brought 117 bands to the area for a day of traditional Scottish music and Highland dancing.

Ian Embelton, chief executive of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association, said: “This has been possibly our best ever in terms of the crowds and the new layout we have designed.

“I think we all relish this more than ever after the past two years we have been through. The bands have missed this terribly because it’s not a hobby for them, it’s their way of life.”

The sight of four Buddhist monks from Thailand added a vibrant splash of orange amid the maelstrom of coloured tartans displayed by the bands.

Wat Phra Dhammakaya monks sampled the Scottish culture

Wat Phra Dhammakaya monks sampled the Scottish culture

Residing at the Wat Phra Dhammakaya temple in Helensburgh, the monks came to sample some distinctly Scottish culture in the park.

Phra Boonchuay, from Bangkok, said: “It’s lovely to be here and to say all the bands in their traditional dress. It’s a special experience.”