Competitions Will Be Fierce at the Games

Glengarry Highland Games
Competitions Will Be Fierce at the Games
(Photo : Glengarry Highland Games)


MAXVILLE, Ontario – People flock to the Glengarry Highland Games knowing it will be a fantastic celebration of all things Scottish. In fact it’s one of the largest Scottish celebrations in North America. It is also the site of serious competition where World, Canadian and Games records are fought for and set. Athletes and musicians from around the world come to the Games knowing the mark is set high and the competition will be fierce.

North America’s Finest Piping
Friday night’s Tattoo will have a fine showing of pipe bands with eleven bands in the massed bands performance. Also on Friday, there are competitions for amateur Grades 1 to 5 solo piping and drumming (except bass & tenor drums). On Saturday, all professional solo piping and drumming and tenor and bass drum contests will take place.
Finally after a three year wait, the much-anticipated Saturday evening massed pipe band performance will be back starting at 6pm. Make sure to be there as the pipe bands fill the infield and stage another magnificent show to close the Games.
There’s also a different kind of piping that takes place in the Anglican and United churches in downtown Maxville. The Piobaireachd Society Gold Medal (Canada) contest, one of the premier solo-piping contests in North America, will take place on Friday attracting the best pipers from Canada, the United States and abroad. In addition, there are amateur piobaireachd competitions on Friday followed by professional piobaireachd on Saturday on the main grounds. The Piobaireachd is the classical music version of piping and it’s the music that summoned the clans to battle, celebrated sweet victory and terrible losses.

World Class Heavyweight Competition
The Heavyweight competitions on Friday and Saturday are always a crowd-pleaser and this year’s full slate of athletes will provide a thrilling show of strength and stamina. Starting Friday morning at 8, Amateur heavyweight competitors from throughout Glengarry start a full day of competitions with the hammer toss, the sheaf toss and of course the caber. The women’s heavyweight event this year has attracted a great field of competitors for their Friday event.
The Masters take to the field on Friday from 1 pm to 6 pm and demonstrate that they still have those talents that once put them in the Pros.
Saturday, the Open Professional Heavyweight events start at 9 am. Contestants include previous Games champ Matthew Doherty from Antigonish, NS along with Dave and Will Barron from the USA. A new face in the lineup will be Lorne Colthart of Ottawa previously of Scotland who won many prestigious titles back home and will now try out his skills against Maxville’s finest.
There’s a competition of Intermediate Heavyweights at 8 am on Saturday open to male and female teens from ages 13 to 17. To enter they must have attended one of the local clinics or have practiced with a person who does highland games heavy events. For info on clinic dates and /or registering to compete, contact Lisa MacDonald at

Highland Dancing is a Games Favourite
Highland dancing is another competition at the Games which attracts a large number of entries from across the country. This year will once more see over 200 dancers perform their intricate steps in Pre-Premier, Restricted Premier and Premier National competitions on Friday while on Saturday, World Champions, North American, Canadian and Ontario Champions showcase their best in dancing at the Glengarry Highland Games Open Championship.
The highland dancing competition now takes place in the Sports Arena to avoid inclement weather interrupting the competitions. Once again the John Angus Carther Trophy will be presented on Saturday to the S.D.& G. dancer with the highest combined points.

Scottish Broadsword Proves Popular
A new event that was introduced to the Games in 2019, the Scottish Broadsword has attracted a lot of attention. This year’s tournament and workshop will take place on Friday in the Broadsword Tent. The instructional workshops and tournaments will be attended by fencers from as far away as Manitoba and Maryland (USA). The event name, An Cruinneachadh, is Gaelic for “The Gathering” and is an opportunity for the broadsword, singlestick and small sword historical fencing communities of Central and Eastern Canada and the Eastern seaboard of the US to come together for a few days of training and competition.

Tug of War Always Gets Exciting
Six highland military regiments from across Canada will invade the grounds on Saturday to take part in this year’s Highlanders Tug of War Challenge. The final pull for the Cup takes place on Saturday just before the massed bands performance. Make sure you are there to cheer on our troops.
On Friday evening, before the massed fiddlers, another Tug of War will take place. This one with teams much nearer to home as North Glengarry takes on South Glengarry in the Battle of the Clans. To date, South Glengarry leads the tally, but every year is a new team, so all bets are off on this one.

Rugby Tournament in Remembrance
Rugby returns to the Games this year as well. The Nate MacRae Memorial Tournament will be held on Saturday from 8:30am to 2:30pm near the Clan Buildings with the final games taking place on the infield.
The format is box seven and the divisions are U18 girls, women’s and men’s.

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