Highlands & Islands

Countdown to Royal National Mòd in Stornoway on Lewis

Royal National Mòd dancers Image copyright Royal National Mòd
Image caption Dancing is a feature of the Royal National Mòd

Final preparations are being made for the staging of Scotland's biggest Gaelic cultural festival in Stornoway on Lewis.

The nine-day Royal National Mòd, which will take place from 14-22 October, was last held in the Western Isles in 2011.

Organisers An Comunn Gàidhealach said last year's event in Oban was estimated to have generated about £3m for the local economy.

The Mòd features music, dance and arts competitions and performances.

This year's opening ceremony will include headline performances by Gaelic group Dàimh and the Mischa Macpherson Trio.

Lewis Pipe Band will also lead the festival's traditional torchlight procession, which is held on the opening night of the Mòd.

'Economic benefits'

John Morrison, chief executive of An Comunn Gàidhealach, said a "tremendous amount" of entries had been received for this year's competitions.

He added: "The Mòd is a huge highlight in Scotland's cultural calendar, attracting Gaels and non-Gaels from across the world to celebrate our diverse range of events and competitions.

"We're delighted to have the Mischa Macpherson Trio and Dàimh play at this year's opening ceremony, setting the tone for what will be a tremendous Royal National Mòd 2016."

Norman MacDonald, convener of the Western Isles' local authority Comhairle nan Eilean Siar, said: "With only a month to go until the Mòd begins with the torchlight parade through Stornoway followed by the opening ceremony at the Lewis Sports Centre, preparations are at an advanced stage.

"The Royal National Mòd brings huge economic benefits to the area at a time when the peak tourism season has more or less come to an end."

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