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Inverness and Nairnshire pull out all the stops to celebrate 200 years of the Royal Highland Show

By Rachel Smart

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Jack Spowart Art
Jack Spowart Art

Final preparations are underway as the Highlands and Islands region prepares to take centre stage at the Royal Highland Show 200th anniversary celebrations.

Inverness has strong historical links to the annual event, as the Inverness Show in 1948 was the first to be attended by reigning monarch King George VI who took the opportunity to grant the show its Royal title.

The Highlands hosted the show on 14 occasions before it settled in its permanent home at Ingliston in Edinburgh.

But the tradition of the touring show remains and it’s the turn of the Highlands and Islands region to host the show, with Inverness and Nairnshire firms having a strong presence, in this special year,

High Life Highland will be showcasing their immersion experience where people enter a pod to appreciate stunning scenery from around the region.

Also featuring in the Food and Home and Gift Hall areas are Rose Cottage Kitchen, Jack Spowart, Gold Moss and Kirsten Hel.

Businesses and organisations across the region - from Unst to Lochaber, Elgin to Stornoway – are planning a spectacular showcase of all that is best about the Highlands and Islands.

“We have been overwhelmed by the enthusiasm and support we’ve had from right across the region,” explained Ewan Macdonald, president of the Royal Highland Show.

“Everybody’s delighted to have the chance to go to Edinburgh and show people the very best of the Highlands and Islands.

“Under the banner Highlands and Islands – Scotland’s Natural Capital we’re celebrating our use of natural resources – from wave and tidal energy developments in Orkney to pumped storage hydro in the Great Glen.

“We’ll have a working Harris Tweed loom, Vikings from Shetland and a fully immersive experience showcasing the spectacular scenery of the Highlands and Islands.”

The annual celebration of rural life in Scotland is returning in person for the first time since the start of the pandemic and is expected to welcome 200,000 visitors over the four days starting on Thursday June 23rd.

The Presidential Initiative Marquee will tell the story of the Highlands and Islands Region and its innovation in three areas – tackling climate change, food and drink and tourism.

And in the Home and Gift Hall there will be artisan producers and craftspeople from all parts of our vast Highlands and Islands Region.

Highland Hiddle and Isle 20 – set up during the pandemic to provide an online presence for artists and craftspeople – will be going to the Royal Highland Show for the first time, selling products from smaller producers in the Highlands and Islands.

The Food for Thought sessions in the Food For Thought Theatre will feature chefs and food entrepreneurs from the region such as Lady Claire MacDonald from Skye and Bad Girl Bakery and Highland Food Trail duo Jeni Iannetta and Douglas Hardie from Ross-shire.

The Presidential Initiative team is particularly pleased that it has encouraged representation from every part of the region which covers Shetland, Orkney, Western Isles, Highland and Moray.

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