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First Highland sighting of Queens Baton to be in Aviemore next week

27th June 2014

The first chance to see the 2014 Commonwealth Games Queen's Baton in the Highlands will be a week today when the relay arrives in Aviemore on Friday 4 July.

10 eager baton bearers will be lined up and ready at 10am next Friday as the relay convoy enters Aviemore on Grampian Road to travel south through the village. One of these will be local sporting hero David Smith MBE who returned home to Badenoch and Strathspey in 2012 with a gold medal in rowing from the Paralympic Games in London.

During the 45 minute parade through the village crowds will be entertained by live traditional music performed by Feis Spe with guest musicians from Donegal as part of the local activities organised by Aviemore Community Council to mark the event.

Road users are advised that from 6am to 12 noon the day all vehicles will not be permitted to wait on the B9152 Kingussie - Garnish Road between its junction with the B970 Kingussie-Speybridge Road and its junction with Dougal Drive. Drivers should also allow extra time for their journey through Aviemore and on the A9 as the relay convoy will be departing from Elgin at 7.45am and going through Rothes and Aberlour before reaching Aviemore and then travelling south on the trunk road to Perth with stops in Blair Atholl, Pitlochry, Dunkeld and Blairgowrie.

Convener of The Highland Council, Councillor Jimmy Gray said: "The Baton has being carried through the length and breadth of the Commonwealth so it is exciting that it will soon be our turn to play host before it finishes its journey at the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games. Baton bearers, recognised for their hard work, inspiration and the impact they have had in their local communities will be taking part so I hope as many people as possible come and show their support."

He added: "The Queen's Baton visits to the Highlands on the 4th, 9th, 11th and 12th July gives everyone the perfect opportunity to join in and have a great day out. There are lots of sports and cultural events taking place along the route, including an evening celebration in Dingwall and I am sure our local communities will enjoy the chance to be involved and play a part in the lead up to Scotland’s biggest sporting festival."

After the Aviemore visit the Batons next appearance in the Highlands will be on Wednesday 9 July when it arrives by ferry at Ullapool and journeys to Thurso with a visit en-route to Lairg.

The Highland Council’s full day will be on Friday 11 July when the Baton starts out early in the morning from John O’Groats and visits Wick, Brora, Golspie, Tain, Alness and Dingwall where it will appear on stage during a special free Highland celebration in Jubilee Park. The following day the Provost of Inverness will see it off from Inverness Castle as it travels south to Fort William to be officially handed over to Argyll and Bute Council. A total of 16 different Highland communities will be visited.

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