MAXVILLE, Ontario – All across Canada and the US, people are packing their bags and heading by air, rail and road to Maxville for this Friday and Saturday’s Glengarry Highland Games. Whether you’re a competitor, a fan or a family on a summer getaway, it’s a tradition that this weekend all roads lead to Maxville, Ontario. On their way are a heavyweight competitor from Chilliwack BC, the High Desert pipe band from Albuquerque, New Mexico, and The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada driving from Manitoba for the Tug of War. Add to that the thousands of people from across the continent and from our own backyards and things are shaping up for another fantastic Games.
The grass is a lush green and freshly mowed, the buildings are glistening, the tents have been raised and the RV park will soon be filling up. All is ready for Friday morning’s first events at 8am. Then for two solid days, the site will be filled with the most colourful sights and sounds as the events unfold with 244 highland dancers, 1500 pipers and drummers, over 100 kilted runners and people wearing tartan of all kinds.
The Tartan Ball on Thursday night kicks off the Games celebration with over 200 already reserved for an evening of dining, dancing and Scottish entertainment. This evening is a magical time when everyone wears their finest tartan outfits as they raise a toast to a successful Games.
Friday has a great lineup of heavyweights, highland dancing and piping competitions. A highlight of the day is the Youth Fiddlers Showcase on Friday afternoon in the Arena. The British MG Car Club will be polishing their vintage vehicles on the east mound and the popular 78th Fraser Highlanders will present their 18th Century Musket drill to the delight of the gathered crowd.
Don’t forget your lawn chair if you don’t have a grandstand ticket so you can get a good viewing spot for the Tattoo and Concert which kicks off at 6:30 pm led by the Massed Fiddlers, almost one hundred strong.
Everyone is in anticipation of the Tattoo with its skirl and colour of the pipe bands, the graceful highland dancers, the driving rhythms of the musicians and something that has traditionally kicked off the concert—–the skydivers!
Once again weather permitting, a talented trio of skydivers will “fly” the flags of Scotland, USA and Canada from the heavens onto the Games’ infield to begin the evening’s show. This year the Games is happy to partner with “GO Skydive” from Gatineau, Quebec to bring this highlight to start the Tattoo.
Saturday is another full day of Scottish traditional events highlighted by the Official Ceremonies at noon hour when Jody Mitic, a Canadian military hero will welcome everyone to the Games. The afternoon provides great celtic bands, whisky tasting sessions, guest fiddler Kelli Trottier, lots of heritage in the Clan Buildings along with a new event, the Kilt Run. The day is capped off with the spectacular Massed Bands at 6pm. People wait in anticipation the entire year for this heart-stirring performance with 1500 marching pipers and drummers. Truly if you experience the massed bands, you can see why generations of military have followed their pipers willingly wherever they led.
If you can’t get to the Games and want a taste of what it’s all about, there are several radio stations broadcasting onsite – Corus Cornwall, The Jewel from Ottawa and Hawkesbury, and on Friday, look for a Games favorite, CFRA’s Rob Snow.
Early Friday morning from 6 to 10am CTV Ottawa’s Morning Live Show will be onsite with Sarah Freedmark showcasing some of the events at the Games. The Games’ Facebook and Twitter pages will be posting throughout the Games and are an excellent way to check on records being set and some of the fun things happening.
Remember as every year, there will be a strong OPP presence on the Games site and along the area’s highways and byways. Make sure there is a designated driver for your group. StarrTaxi from Alexandria will be onsite to provide a way home for those who need it. Drive safe, stay safe and enjoy the Games.
See you at the Games! Friday, July 29 and Saturday, July 30. Ceud Mìle Fàilte! A hundred thousand welcomes! www.glengarryhighlandgames.com