Thousands expected in Glasgow for World Pipe Band Championships

Image source, SNS Group

Tens of thousands of spectators are expected at Glasgow Green later for the World Pipe Band Championships.

The competition is celebrating its 70th anniversary and it is the highlight of the year for piping fans.

Around 8,000 pipers and drummers will play for the ultimate prize in pipe band competition.

The showcase of musical talent began on Friday, and over two days there will be performances by 219 bands from 15 nations.

Among those competing are bands from countries including the USA, Canada, Austria, Switzerland, Argentina and Denmark.

Image source, SNS Group

They have returned to defend their title this year but they will face stiff competition at the event which is organised by the City of Glasgow on behalf of the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association.

Its chief executive, Ian Embelton, said: "At the heart of the World Pipe Band Championships are brilliant musicians seeking to prove they are the best of this best.

"Planning for the event itself is a year round process but getting ready to compete is a life-long pursuit of excellence coupled with months of rehearsal.

"For any band to win the world title is a huge achievement and to watch them all compete is a real pleasure."

The first ever World Pipe Band Championships were held at Murrayfield in Edinburgh in 1947. The event was first held in Glasgow in 1948 and has been staged in the city continuously since 1986.

This year's chieftain is Glasgow's Lord Provost, Eva Bolander.

She said: "My first experience of Glasgow more than 30 years ago was as a piper in a band that travelled from Sweden for the event.

"To be asked to be chieftain is a special honour.

"I am really looking forward to outstanding performances from the best bands in the world, and enjoying the unique atmosphere of Glasgow Green. It promises to be an unforgettable experience for everyone who goes along."

The event at Glasgow Green also hosts a Highland games, Highland dancing and a showcase of Scottish food and drink.

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