The massed bands closed out the Highland Games on the Sun., Aug. 6 evening. Over 1,000 pipers and drummers marched through the grounds putting on an impressive show for the thousands of spectators.
Kalynn Sawyer Helmer
MAXVILLE – The Glengarry Highland Games wowed guests with the always-entertaining events and attractions on the weekend of Aug. 4 and 5. The 70th annual games even garnered the attention of Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau who made an appearance on Saturday after stopping in at the St-Albert Cheese Co-op. Trudeau showed his Celtic pride in a bright red kilt and traditional stockings. He was accompanied by Liberal MP Francis Drouin and Glengarry MPP Grant Crack.
On the Games’ website, Games President Anne Stewart said, “It was wonderful to have our Prime Minister visit our games this afternoon, a year when we are celebrating our 70th anniversary and Canada’s 150th. She added that it is the people who attend the Games, some attending for the first time this year and others here for their 70th visit, that have made it a world-class Celtic event.”
Crowds waited to catch a glimpse of the Prime Minister and snap a quick selfie as he worked his way across the grounds all while being surrounded by the massive crowds.
Trudeau shows Scottish pride
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau showed up sporting a red kilt to the Glengarry Games on Sat., Aug. 5. The Prime Minister shook hands and took photos with the massive crowds during his visit.
Meanwhile the Celtic traditions continued in full swing with constant dancing, music and heavyweight events to enjoy. Celtic heritage information and educational areas helped to inform attendees about the 70 successful years of the games and where those games originated in Scottish history. Heavyweight events included traditional caber toss, hammer throw, weight/distance, stone (shot put) and sheaf. Classes available to compete in the heavyweights included Amateur, Masters, Open Professionals and Professional Women.
New this year to the games was the Nate McRae Memorial rugby tournament. The organizers hope to continue this new tradition each year to remember MacRae, who was an enthusiastic sportsman who sadly lost his battle with cancer this past April.
Thousands of visitors filled the grounds, saving their seats and getting ready for the massed bands. Before the marching started, the weekend’s final tug-of-war rounds went head to head. The many teams put up a good fight but it was the six-time winner The Cameron Highlanders of Ottawa who took home the prize.
The Games President Stewart presented the team with their prize cup and then filled the cup with a bottle of scotch for the team to take a swig to toast their victory.
Towards the end of the weekend, the over 1,000 pipers and drummers marched through the field for the world famous massed bands’ closing ceremony to finish off a massively successful 70th annual Glengarry Highland Games.
Next year’s games are set to be held on Aug. 3 and 4, 2018.
Women of steel
The 70th annual Glengarry Games held the heavyweight competitions throughout Sat., Aug. 5. The talented female athletes showed strength and gumption while competing in the traditional sports.
Sawyer Helmer photos