Illawarra Scottish Fair and Pipe Band contest returns to Dapto

Illawarra Pipe Band members Bill Collins, Hayden Markham-Ball and Rod Mackenzie at the Albion Park showgrounds rehearsing for Dapto's Scottish Fair. Picture: Adam McLean
Illawarra Pipe Band members Bill Collins, Hayden Markham-Ball and Rod Mackenzie at the Albion Park showgrounds rehearsing for Dapto's Scottish Fair. Picture: Adam McLean

The Scotts are preparing to invade Dandaloo Sports Grounds in Dapto next week with haggis hurling, kilts, dancing and bagpipes.

Now in its 36th year, the annual Scottish Fair and Pipe Band contest is on again with pipers marching from around NSW and the ACT.

Event president James Bennis said the band competition is graded with judges assessing music selection, dress, quickstep as well as a drum majors solo contest.

Mr Bennis has been a drummer with the Illawarra Pipe Band for more than 26 years though has no Scottish heritage.

“I was in the school cadet band in the ‘70s … at Keira Boys [school],” he said.

“We were like army cadets and we had a band at school. But I always liked the Edinburgh tattoo on television, I liked the pipes and drums – the sound of it – so I joined.”

It’s Mr Bennis’ job to help keep the pipers in line with the beat of the Pipe Major, though it can be tough.

The Pipe Major is in charge of the troupe, sets the time and “conducts with his feet.”

Illawarra Scottish Fair and Pipe Band Contest, Sunday October 15, Dandaloo Sports Grounds, Kanahooka Road, from 8:30am (presentations at 4pm).

This story Try haggis throwing at a Dapto Scottish Fair next Sunday first appeared on Illawarra Mercury.