Southland is about to be hit with a feast of piping as the 2020 National Pipe Band Championships hit the region for the first time in 15 years.
Invercargill will play host to the event for the first time since 2005, and event organisers are already relishing the opportunity to see the best pipe bands from around New Zealand and two from overseas.
President of the event organising committee Brendan Copeland said it was an exciting time for the region.
“Invercargill has got a strong Scottish heritage and we’ve got a strong pipe banding community in Southland and to host the event is really special for us. We’ve got a lot of kids in bands too. So for them to be able to play in front of their grandparents and their aunties and uncles and also the sponsors who support the bands across the years is a great thing too. So we’re really excited.”
Mr Copeland said the event expected to bring close to 1500 people to the city, making it one of the biggest events held in Invercargill this year. Bands participating were from all corners of New Zealand he said, with one band coming from the United States and another coming from Australia.
There will be several different grades for competitors, with four bands taking part in the top grade one event. This will be supported by grade two, three, four A and four B as well as the juvenile section for competitors under the age of 18.
All grades must perform twice across the weekend, with the juvenile section only performing once. A separate street march will also take place from 9am on Saturday and will go up Kelvin and Gala Streets.
The championships will be held at the Southland Cricket Grounds in Queens Park on Gala Street on Friday and Saturday.
Entry is $10 for adults, children are free.
This article was originally written for The Advocate. You can read the published version here