In 1948, a group of Maxville businessmen, fearing Scottish traditions have been being misplaced to youthful generations, organized the first Glengarry Highland Games. It was an instantaneous success, as Maxville, in accordance with the Ottawa Citizen, “assumed city-like proportions as hundreds overflowed the city to witness the … video games.
“The guests started arriving as early as Friday morning and inside a matter of hours each accessible little bit of lodging house was occupied inside the city and farmers inside a radius of 10 miles have been throwing open their properties to the guests.”
Seventy years later, the video games — an hour’s drive east of Ottawa — are a lot bigger. The inaugural eight pipe bands have blossomed into 50, with the two-day competition — Friday and Saturday — that includes not simply pipers piping but additionally tons of of drummers drumming, women dancing, harpists strumming, lads and lassies a’lifting and tossers tossing, to call however a few. All that, and mushy peas and haggis, too.
Here are simply a few of the occasions going down. For a full itemizing, go to glengarryhighlandgames.com.
It won’t be everybody’s notion of the perfect reveille, but it surely simply wouldn’t be the identical with out the bagpipes, as the Piobaireachd (pronounced peeb-air-och) Society Gold Medal (Canada) competitors kicks off the Games at eight a.m. at the Anglican and United church buildings on Maxville’s Main Street. The bagpipe competitors continues till early afternoon, however by eight:30 a.m. the fairgrounds and different venues will already be swinging into full-on Celtic cacophony mode, with the beginner solo piping and drumming, in addition to the Highland Dance competitors for newbie, novice and intermediate dancers, getting underway.
The beginner heavyweight competitors additionally will get an early begin Friday, at eight:15 a.m., as the south infield fills with grunt-accompanied flying hammers, stones, bales of straw and tree trunks. The skilled girls’s heavyweight occasions (barely higher-pitched grunts) get underway at 10 a.m., whereas the masters’ start at 1 p.m.
There are quite a few displays and actions all through the day, together with a show of British automobiles, and a kids’s tent, the latter consisting of all the favourites for the wee bairns: a bouncy fortress, petting zoo, face-painting, falcons and Scottish puppetry.
The 5 p.m. parade of the 78th Fraser Highlanders and Quigley Highlanders Pipes & Drums might be adopted by an 18th-century musket evaluation and a 21st-century tug of conflict, whereas a pair of venues — the Metcalfe Centre and the fundamental tent — will showcase Celtic tradition music all through the afternoon and night, together with “Celtibilly” quintet Steel City Rovers. Headliners for the night time are Stewart’s Glen, Fridge Full of Empties and Bang on the Ear.
Many of the identical, or comparable, occasions and performers from Friday’s schedule will fill Saturday’s calendar — British automobiles, Scottish puppets and culinary fare, in addition to the pipes, Danny Boy, the pipes, and many others., a’calling. Again, the gates open at eight a.m. Check the web site (glengarryhighlandgames.com) for particular occasions.
Some of the highlights scheduled for the Games’ closing day, nevertheless, embody an eight:30 a.m. rugby match, and the World Invitational and Canadian-Scottish Professional Heavyweights Championships, which start at 9 a.m. and run till 5:30 p.m.
The 5-km Up The Glens kilt run (kilts obligatory) begins (and ultimately ends) at the beer tent at 9:30 a.m., the identical time that the North American Pipe Band Championships will get underway.
More tugs-of-war will happen, together with the 5:30 p.m. remaining of the Highlanders Tug-o-War Challenge Cup, through which militia models compete in kilts and fight boots.
Meanwhile, some tickets would possibly nonetheless be accessible on-line for the four p.m. single malt scotch tasting, though the 2 p.m. sitting was all however offered out by Thursday afternoon.
A ceilidh at the Metcalfe Centre from eight to 10 p.m. closes out the Games for one more yr.