SLIDESHOW: Kilt Skate expands into Scottish winter carnival

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By Shawna O'Neill
SLIDESHOW: Kilt Skate expands into Scottish winter carnival
Éva Leblond showing off how fast she can slide down the hill (Shawna O'Neill/Seaway News).

WILLIAMSTOWN, Ontario – At least 500 individuals attended the Char-Lan Recreation Centre as part of the Great Canadian Kilt Skate on Sunday, March 1, according to Rick Ladouceur, Director of Recreation and Facilities for South Glengarry.

“North Glengarry had it last year and we were approached and asked if we would be interested in hosting (the Kilt Skate this year) and we said absolutely!” said Ladouceur.

South Glengarry staff wanted to provide a large, all-encompassing winter event free to the public and decided to expand on the number of activities incorporated. By including a sliding area for children, horse carriage rides, a hot chocolate and marshmallow roasting pit, live highland dancing and celtic music, along with the kilted skate and a hockey game, the event blossomed into a Scottish winter carnival.

Ladouceur said he overhead conversation that the event got locals out of the house, out of a winter blues funk and into a celebratory mood.

“We are very pleased…there was a lot of interest,” said Ladouceur. “I have a philosophy: go big or go home.”

Don Cummer of The Scottish Society of Ottawa was in attendance of the event. Cummer said he first initiated the Kilt Skate in 2015 with the Society, celebrating the bicentennial of Canada’s first Prime Minister, Sir John A. Macdonald. Now, the event is celebrated across North America and parts of Ireland because of his initiative.

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