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People flocked in their thousands as the sun shone upon the 149th Maryborough Highland Gathering.

The day kicked off with the traditional street parade as a sea of tartan, in the form of five pipe bands, piped the procession along High Street, lead by the Maryborough City Brass Band.

As tradition dictates, each band was greeted by the first ever female chieftain of the games, Liane Sinclair.

The gathering was officially opened by Dr Francis Macnab, chief minister of St Michael’s Church on Melbourne’s Collins Street.

Crowds packed the grandstand and the rotunda as they sought solace from the sun, an improvement on the 2007 event, where strong winds and torrential rain marred the event and 2008, where searing heat kept crowds at bay.

Onlookers had a plethora of entertainment options, with pipe bands, jazz bands, athletics, caber tossing, sheaf tossing, highland dancing, and other Highland Games keeping spectators entertained. Highland Games sports secretary, Max Martin said an 8000 strong crowd enjoyed the day, with the event still very popular. Mornington sprinter, Matt Carter took out the $10,300 Bendigo Bank Maryborough Gift after finishing fourth last year, ahead of stablemate and training partner, Fabrice Melanie and Dale Woodhams from South Australia.

For the full story, see the current edition of The Maryborough Advertiser.

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