A CROWD of over 4,000 people packed into Lochore Meadows Country Park on Saturday to follow the skirl of the pipes and the swish of Highland dress.

The country park hosted the fifth Benarty Pipe Band Competition with entrants from as far afield as the USA and Australia. It’s one of the main dates in the area’s calendar and this year it included the Kingdom of Fife Juvenile Championship as well as the ever growing Highland Dancing Competition.

The event is one of the big three, along with the gala and Rockore, put together by Benarty Events Group and this year's Chieftain was popular Benarty man Michael O'Hare.

One of the highlights was the appearance of Lochgelly High School Pipe Band who over the last two months have won: the Dundee City contest, 1st place in the novice / juvenile section; the British Pipe Band Championships in Paisley, 1st place in the novice / juvenile section; at Markinch Highland Games, 1st place in Grade 4 and 1st place drum corp; Strathmore Highland Games, 1st place in Grade 4 and 1st place drum corp.

And they topped that off with a win at the UK Championships in Lurgan, Northern Ireland, the previous Saturday and they struck success twice at the Meedies

This year they were joined in the country park by the Mesa Caledonia Pipe Band from Arizona, USA, and the Haileybury Pipe Band from Melbourne, in Australia and bands and dancers from across the country were competing.

Organised by Benarty Events Group the day was greeted by warm sunshine and chairman Eddie Easson said: "What a marvellous day it was and there were some stirring performances from the bands.

"We would like to thank everyone who came along to make it such a fine day and the bands for taking part along with the fantastic Highland dancers.

Eddie added: “These events are only possible because of the enormous assistance from the army of volunteers that help on the day.” He also thanked the park staff for their excellent contribution to the day.