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Gold rush as countries line up for contest

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AUSTRIA, Slovakia and Italy are just three of 13 countries so far registered to compete at the World Gold Panning Championships in Moffat this summer.

GOLD RUSH . . . Moffat Community Council Chairman Adam Anderson is delighted that Moffat will play host to the 2017 World Gold Panning Championships

The 41st championship event takes place from August 7 to 12 and hundreds of competitors are set to descend on the town.

Online registration for all categories at the event are currently open on the official website, and it is expected as many as 20 countries could be represented.

Chairman of Moffat Gold 2017 SCIO Richard Deighton said: “This year marks the 25th anniversary since the championships were last held in Scotland and is the first opportunity that the town of Moffat has had to host this exciting annual event.

“Everyone is welcome to take part in the competition to find gold in a record time and become a world champion.”

He added: “There will be a free gold panning school every day of the event, from the 7th to the 12th, to demonstrate how to use a gold pan to help those that have never tried the sport before.”

And head of EventScotland Stuart Turner added: “We are delighted to be welcoming the World Gold Panning Championships back to Scotland

. “Scotland is the perfect stage for events and the championships will showcase the beautiful Moffat area as well as being a great event for participants of all abilities from novices to veteran gold panners.”

And organisers have flooded the six-day-long event with entertainment and activities too.

Children’s entertainers, including locals Daffy Dill and Jason the Juggler, will be on site each day of the competition.

Live entertainment will also be available most evenings in the main marquee, including music from Awry, Clan Blues, Scocha and a special ceilidh has also been arranged

. The event is supported by Dumfries and Galloway Council, EventScotland, part of VisitScotland’s Events Directorate, and Foundation Scotland, and will celebrate Scotland’s Year of History, Heritage and Archaeology 2017.

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