Perth and Kinross is the place to be this August with a series of spectacular events taking place across the region.
Building upon the successful early summer events such as the Vintage Classic Car Rally and the Mela festival, the first week of August will present a captivating array of events to suit all tastes and budgets. This will culminate in the City of Perth Salute on Sunday, August 6 which will also honour local champions with the Freedom of the City award presentation.
The weekend will also see thousands of cyclists take part in the Gran Fondo on a route from Perth city centre and around Perthshire on August 4. Part of the UCI World Championships, which are being held in Scotland this year, cyclists will compete in either the Gran or Medio Fondo and will be looking for the crowds to cheer them on as they take on the challenge.
It is the first time in history the UCI has staged all 13 world cycling championships in one country. The Gran Fondo is one of the most challenging events, with cyclists on the Gran Fondo having to complete a 75-mile (120km) course.
On the same weekend, we're also welcoming the ever-popular Perth Show back to the South Inch on August 4 and 5, making it a great event to visit either between seeing the cyclists off or back across the finish line. For shoppers and food enthusiasts, the hugely popular Perth Farmers Market will take place on Saturday August 5, with stalls showcasing top-quality local food and drinks from Perthshire and beyond. The market also features artisan crafts, offering unique handmade products for those seeking a one-of-a-kind treasure. On Sunday August 6, shoppers can bring the four-legged friends to the Yard Market at Radisson Blu Hotel to relax in the outdoor garden, browse stalls offering art, candles, jewellery and much more while listening to live music.
To round off the weekend in the city centre, the fantastic City of Perth Salute returns for the first time since 2019. This popular parade and arena performance event features a host of skilled military and civilian bands and other music and dance performers. Alongside the Salute, we will also be presenting Freedom of the City of Perth to Eve Muirhead and the Team GB Olympic Curling Champions, and to double Grand National winning trainers Lucinda Russell OBE and Peter Scudamore MBE.
And the fun continues across Perth and Kinross throughout August with Perth Racecourse hosting its race evening on Tuesday August 1 and the Auto Services Perth Raceday the following day. In celebration of the UK Hillman Imp Club's 60th anniversary, the racecourse will proudly serve as the venue for the Imp National 2023 event, taking place from 3-7 August 2023.
For those seeking a cinematic outdoor experience, Scone Palace is also offering three nights of open-air cinema, starting on August 4 with a screening of Top Gun: Maverick. This will be followed by Mamma Mia on Saturday and The Greatest Showman on the Sunday.
The excitement continues with the vibrant Mela Market returning to St Paul's Square on 12 August. This vibrant market, organised by Jar of Jewels, Perth Welfare Society, Perth Chinese Association, Perth Minorities Association will offer multi-cultural food, clothes, jewellery and more!
And Highland Games will be a feature in Perth and Aberfeldy this weekend. On 11 and 12 August, the lovely small town of Aberfeldy comes alive with the Atholl and Breadalbane Agricultural Show and Highland Gathering featuring games, fancy dress on horseback, wrestling and the carrying of the Menzies Stone. Perth Highland Games returns to the South Inch on 13 August with the popular heavyweight events, highland dancers and more! Dougie MacLean has been also announced as the 2023 Chieftain for the Perth Highland Games, a celebrated singer-songwriter who has created iconic Scottish anthems including "Caledonia" and "The Gael" and a true ambassador for Scottish Culture.
And if Highland Games are your thing don't miss the fantastic Crieff Highland Gathering on Sunday 20 August, including a wide range of traditional Highland Games and this year, a thrilling "Tartan Dash"! Participants of all levels of fitness can take part in the race, running through the town to the sound of bagpipes and cheering spectators.
These highly anticipated events are some of the most popular in the Scottish Highland Games calendar, attracting visitors from far and wide.
A special event to support Ukrainian Independence Day will be held at the North Inch on Sunday 20 August. The event will promote the rich culture and heritage of Ukraine with a range of family entertainment and hospitality for all.
Later in the month, from 24-27 August, the renowned Defender Blair Castle International Horse Trials will take place in Blair Atholl. Now in its 33rd year of international competition, this equestrian event provides a fantastic family day out against the stunning backdrop of Blair Castle and the Highlands.
The colourful Perthshire Pride also makes a return to Perth on 26 August. This celebration of equality and diversity brings a joyous atmosphere and a range of activities and fantastic performances to the city to demonstrate that this is a safe and welcoming place for all our LGBTQ+ community members.
Perth and Kinross Provost Xander McDade said: "Perth and Kinross is certainly the place to be this August with a range of events to appeal to residents and visitors alike. It's great to see event organisers, both new and returning, recognising Perth and Kinross as a place to invest in and grow their activity, bringing potential new customers to local businesses. I am particularly proud that the Hauntings sculpture has found its home at the Black Watch Castle and Museum until 12 November, making Perth the exclusive Scottish venue to showcase this remarkable sculpture."
"I look forward to Perth and Kinross welcoming thousands of visitors this summer and I hope everyone enjoys what will sure be an unforgettable month of activities in our communities."