The Glengarry Highland Games began in 1948 in an effort to recreate the tradition of the clans of Scotland. Throughout history they have long competed to establish themselves and their clans as the fastest, the fittest and the strongest in the land. Clans chiefs were on hand to judge the events putting their best and brightest forward to represent the clans. These games have continued across North America to continue to honour the tradition for Scottish families that have lived here for many generations. It is a way of keeping their traditions and heritage alive and it draws many together to participate. They did not plan for them to still be occurring more than sixty years in the future and yet, here they are, drawing thousands of people to the event to enjoy the pageantry over the long weekend.
The first even say eight bands perform with pipes and drums to compete for the title of the best of the best and now the event has some of the largest pipe bands that exist in North America. The games have grown to such an extent that organizers have had to add more and more time slots to accommodate the competitions in the heavy events, the musical events and the dancing. This is one of the planned stops for Scottish competitors on the Highland Game circuit.
Bands have traveled from as far as New Zealand, Scotland and from Canadian provinces and American states. The competitive events for pipers have expanded to five now and as more are drawn to the festivities, they continue to grow.
The Highland Dancing is also subject to unprecedented growth in the number of participants and consequently in the number of events to support them. It is expected that this year there will be more than 300 competing in this aspect of the Games. The Highland Fling is the most popular and has been ongoing since 1962. The event has attracted many big names in the genre including Garth Mitcheson of Scotland and Peter Daniel of Australia.
Fiddlers have also become a big part of the Glengarry event, growing increasingly popular each year. This event draws fiddlers from all over the world and is a must attend event for massed fiddlers.
The traditional games always have the feats of strength and Glengarry is no different. The competition continues to be the event favourite and what’s not to love with famous names like Dave Harrington in the competitions as well as competitors like Warren Trask or Harry McDonald. The children’s activites are also a big hit with the youngsters competing is similar feats geared to their age level.
Over the years, new stages and facilities have been built to support the growing popularity of the event and the Games can now house tens of thousands. Many of the nation’s Prime Ministers have visited the games and opened the festivities as well as numerous sports celebrities and local media officials.
The Glengarry Highland Games are a must see event so Ontarians in the Maxville area should plan to attend in August. The event is listed as one of the top 100 summer festivals and you’ll be sure to have a wonderful time.