People all over Glasgow have woken to a new sight in the skies above the city. For this morning only, a 156 feet tall hot air balloon shaped like a Pipe Major has been flying above the city centre as part of the build up to Piping Live! and the World Pipe Band Championships which both take place next month.
Pipy, as the balloon is called, took off this morning from Glasgow Green, which has been home to the World Pipe Band Championships for more than 20 years. On August 16, more than 220 Pipe Bands from all over the world will compete at Glasgow Green for the coveted World Title. The event, which is organised by the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association and Culture and Sport Glasgow, can attract up to 40,000 spectators.
Piping Live! is back for its fifth triumphant year. It promises more than a hundred separate events across the city in a week long celebration of piping, running from 11th to 17th August. Many of the festival’s most anticipated events return including the International Piping Concert and the Gaelic Piping Night while George Square will again provide the city centre with a real buzz by staging free daily highlights.
The National Piping Centre will be the festival’s hub hosting come and try sessions as well as performances in the outdoor Street Café from some of the best piping folk combos, duos and groups. On the evening after the World Pipe Band Championships, the world famous Barrowlands play host to the After Worlds Shindig.
The World Pipe Band Championships aren’t just about the pipers and drummers. There’s a huge range of other events taking place throughout the day as part of the whole “Worlds” experience. There are European Highland Games which features events like hammer throwing, weight for distance and of course, caber tossing. There’s also a Kids “Come and Try” Highland Games and competition Highland Dancing. It all adds up to unique experiences which people come back and see year after year.