Ashbourne's Highland Gathering will be back this year
PLANS are under way for this year's Ashbourne Highland Gathering in July -– with organisers keeping their fingers crossed that is it not affected again by adverse weather conditions.
The event has been taking place since 1985 and is managed by unpaid volunteers.
Last year, the event had to be cancelled due to heavy rain and a water-logged recreation ground in Cockayne Avenue.
The cancellation followed a number of weather-affected years and there was doubt at one stage whether the event could continue.
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But chairman David Frith said planning for this year's event had already started with former champion strongman Geoff Capes attending the event with his team of heavyweight athletes. The Yorkshire Regiment has also been booked to provide the military brass band sound to counter the bagpipes.
Mr Frith said: "Our intended 2012 Chieftain Mr Andrew Gentles has agreed to be our 2013 Chieftain so we are up and running.
"People with long memories may remember that we have had a chieftain called Gentles before in 1998.
"This was Andrew's father, Archie, so we are really pleased Andrew will be able to follow in his father's footsteps after all."
The event will be held on Sunday, July 21.
Mr Frith said: "Some of our traders have supported us by leaving their booking money from 2012 with us for 2013 and we look forward to seeing them on the day."