The temperatures are soaring, the skies are sunny, and summer just keeps getting better. All are signs that the Glengarry Highland Games are right around the corner. Across North America, plans are being made for travel to Maxville on August 3 & 4th for the 71st edition of this premier highland event. With all of the hard work of the Games committees to prepare, everyone will be pleased with this year’s lineup of events and attractions.
For many people the highlight of the Games is the Friday night Tattoo and Concert where the best of Glengarry meets the best of international entertainment. This year’s lineup has a distinctly Canadian flavour and will prove to be one the finest. Starting off the evening, Glengarry’s massed fiddlers take to the stage nearly one hundred strong. Then what would the Games Tattoo be without the world famous MacCulloch Dancers who fill the field and get the crowd clapping with their energetic and finely tuned performance. Glengarry’s popular MacLeod Fiddlers will also be performing to mark the 25th anniversary of their remarkable school of fiddling.
A mainstay of any highland games and certainly at Glengarry, The Brigadoons will perform many of their favourite tunes that will please the appreciative crowd. The headliners for this year’s Games, The Steel City Rovers from Hamilton, promise to keep the huge audience entertained from their first note to their last. The Rovers present a cross-pollination of Celtic and North American traditions in a show that is lively, fresh and fun.
When the stage dims, the Tattoo begins with massed pipe bands, brass bands and a stirring visual presentation on the big screens. This year’s Tattoo will include a special tribute to the RCMP’s 20th Anniversary of their Tartan. To celebrate this anniversary, the RCMP Pipes, Drums and Dancers will take to the field to entertain the crowds. This highly regarded and sought after scarlet tunic clad band, along with their dancers, have earned a stellar reputation through their parades and performances both at home and abroad.
As the last bands leave the field, the skies to the east explode with a fantastic fireworks display to end a perfect evening. As Director of Tattoo Neil McDonell says, “First introduced in 1963, the Friday night 'Pre- Games concert' took place in simple fashion, on the track, in front of the grandstand. It has grown from an initial audience of 400 to a crowd of 8,000 by 1994. Each and every year the Tattoo exudes with talent and pageantry and is a show not to be missed!”
A great summer’s evening entertainment, and oh, by the way, it’s free with the price of admission. For $25 people can come in the morning for the Scottish athletic events, stay in the afternoon for the fiddling and musical performances, grab a tasty dinner in one of the many food concessions and then continue the evening entertained by one of the finest outdoor concerts that can be found anywhere.
Whether it’s your first Games or your 71st, the Friday night Tattoo and Concert will be a highlight of your stay.
Glengarry Celtic Bands Take Over Games Entertainment
Fans of Glengarry’s great celtic bands won’t have to travel too far to see them all gathered in one place. This year’s Games will highlight your favorites in the Metcalfe Centre and the Tent over the two days. On Friday, entertainment starts in the afternoon with a variety of local entertainment in the Metcalfe Centre including the Glengarry Girls Choir who have performed all over the region and beyond including the Antigonish Highland Games and Upper Canada Village’s Alight at Night. The entertainment really heats up after the Tattoo with Stewart’s Glen featuring Paddy Kelly and fiddler Ashley MacLeod in the Metcalfe Centre while over in the Tent, Fridge Full of Empties shares the evening with Bang on the Ear.
Saturday is wall-to-wall celtic music beginning at 2pm and finishing at 10pm. The Tents have a lively lineup starting with Brandy n’ Port, then headliners Steel City Rovers, followed by Bang on the Ear and Fridge Full of Empties after the massed bands. The Metcalfe Centre presents more of Glengarry’s favourites with Bob & Ducky kicking off the lineup followed by Neil Emberg’s Trio, The Brigadoons and Brandy n’ Port. A real Glengarry ceilidh with all of the groups finishes off the evening starting right after the massed bands.
This summer on August 3rd and 4th, the best lineup of celtic music to be found anywhere is right here in your own backyard. See you at the Games and don’t forget your dancing shoes.