CULTURE

[NB] Experience the Stunning Highland Games & Scottish Festival

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A beloved Scottish festival is coming back to New Brunswick with lots of fun activities, performances, food, and drinks! Ever since their first event in 1981, Highland Games and Scottish festival has been attracting more and more people each year. The festival was first held in Oromocto but then moved to Fredericton Exhibition Grounds for a brief period before settling into the gorgeous grounds of Old Government House. But what makes the New Brunswick Highland Games Festival so special is not just its’ location. But rather it’s the mixture of the fun Highland Games and the live music performances. Learn more about both the game and the festivities below.

Festival’s Date: July 25-28th

Location: Government House, 51 Woodstock Road Fredericton, NB, E3B 9L8

Highland Games

There is a bunch of exciting games and activities planned for this year. Some of which include piping and drumming, highland dancing and traditional athletics.

(1) Piping & Drumming

scottish-festival

credit: New Brunswick Highland Games Festival

scottish-festival

credit: New Brunswick Highland Games Festival

There are two engaging piping and drumming events scheduled for this year’s festival. These events are “Solo Drumming and Piping Competitions” and “Pipe Band Competitions”. Contestants will be performing in a competitive yet fun setting and the winners will get a prize! So if you want to participate in the event as a group or solo, check out their sign up page. If not then just sit back and enjoy watching the professionals play live! In addition, the opening and ending ceremony will also feature live piping and drumming performance.

Event schedule:

  • Solo Competition:
    • 8:30 am-12:30 pm on Saturday (July 27th)
    • 8:45 am-12:00 pm on Sunday (July 28th)
  • Group Competition:
    • 2:00-4:00 pm on Saturday (July 27th)
    • 1:00-3:00 pm on Sunday (July 28th)

Location: Parade Square

(2) Highland Dancing

dance

credit: New Brunswick Highland Games Festival

Nothing screams fun more than some good old highland dancing. Hence why this year’s festival has dancing events planned for dancers of all levels. Whether you are a beginner or a professional dancer, you will get a chance to dance your boots off or watch other dance. If you want you can even compete in their dancing contests (to sign up for as a competitor visit their official webpage). The competitive dances will be held in the morning and afternoon while the non-competitive dance demonstration is held right after the morning dance.

Event schedule:

  • Morning Registration & Dance:
    • 8:30 am on Saturday & Sunday (July 27-28th)
  • Demonstration Event:
    • 10:00 am on Saturday (July 27th)

Location: Highland Dance Tent

(3) Scottish Athletics

scottish-festival

credit: New Brunswick Highland Games Festival

For athletes out there, there are many Scottish sports’ contests planned for this year’s event. Some of which include open stone, lightweight for distance, heavy weight for distance, etc. Furthermore, the events are meant for all ages. For instance, the junior and men’s amateur heavy athletic events are meant for youth under the age of 19. and the men’s and women’s events are meant for adults.  Unfortunately, the men’s portion of the competition is already fully booked. But if you want to sign up for the women’s portion, please email them at [email protected].

Event schedule:

  • Junior and Men’s Amateur Heavy Athletic Events:
    • 9:00 am-12:00 pm on Saturday (July 27th)
  • Men’s Professional Heavy Athletic Events:
    • 12:00 pm-5:00 pm on Saturday (July 27th)
    • 12:00 pm-4:00 pm on Sunday (July 28th)
  • Women’s heavy athletic events:
    • 9:30 am-12:00 pm on Sunday (July 28th)

Location: Athletic Field

Performances

scottish-festival

Fundy Ceilidh/credit: New Brunswick Highland Games Festival

There are 8 different live performances scheduled for this amazing festival. Most of which combine the piping and drumming that’s rooted in the Scottish culture. The festival will kick off with Cassie & Maggie’s live music featuring some of the best musical traditions of Scotland. Next up is the incredible Mariner’s Curse featuring Celtic and Canadiana music with tightly knit counterpoint and multi-part harmonies. On Saturday, you get to enjoy 4 different bands playing live music genres such as Traditional & Modern Celtic and Maritime. If you don’t want to miss out on more maritime music check out the remaining three performances on Sunday.

Schedule:

  • Friday (July 26th):
    • Cassie & Maggie) 7:00 pm-8:30 pm
    • Mariner’s Curse) 9:00 pm-11:00 pm
  • Saturday (July 27th):
    • Fundy Ceilidh) 11:15 am
    • Wicked Cry) 1:00 pm
    • Katherine Moller) 2:15 pm
    • HATband) 3:30 pm
    • Celtic Rant) 5:30 pm-7:00 pm
    • The Barra MaNeils) 7:30 pm-9:00 pm (located at Officer’s Square)
  • Sunday (July 28th):
    • Oak, Ash, and Thorn) 12:00 pm
    • Sons of Gael) 1:15 pm
    • Different Folk) 2:30 pm

Location: Ceilidh Tent

Ticket pricing

ticket-pricingcredit: New Brunswick Highland Games Festival

This Scottish festival has it all, from the world-class piping, drumming and live music to games, sports and prizes! What’s not to like! The best part is, tickets are up right now. The tickets are affordable and range from $0 to $25. For more ticket information visit eventbrite.

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