A Recap by margaret McPhillips
What a weekend we had celebrating our 59th Cobourg Highland Games!! Thanks to everyone who came along and helped make these games a resounding success.
Mother Nature certainly cooperated, apart from a quick thunderstorm on Friday night which caused a short delay to the proceedings. Saturday, however, was all blue skies, sunshine and warm temperatures; the perfect way to enjoy a day by Lake Ontario in beautiful Victoria Park.
A record 28 pipe bands competed which made for a spectacular massed band finale. Winners included: Ian K. MacDonald (Professional Piper), Peel Regional Police Pipe Band (Grade 2 Set and Grade 4 March Medley), Guelph Pipe Band (Grade 3 Set) and Ottawa Caledonian Pipes and Drums (Grade 5 March Medley). Check out all the results at https://ppbso.org/cobourg-scottish-festival-2023/
We also hosted 166 highland dancers who demonstrated their expertise in the Highland Fling, Sword Dance and Seann Triubhas to name a few.
These Games saw our highest number of entrants for the Heavy Events and also included competitors from the US. It all kicked off with the Stones of Strength - notable for a number of reasons - a women’s delegation participated for the first time and the winners (Devon Hepburn and Kelly Drescher) qualify to compete in the IHGF Stones of Strength World Championships in Norway next year! Watching the caber being tossed is a crowd favourite and Craig McCormick didn’t disappoint when he became the first amateur thrower to turn the Professional Caber. At 19’ 2” and 119 lbs, it’s one of the two largest cabers used in Canada.
From the heritage information available on Clan Avenue (including Clan MacPherson’s reunion) to the many Celtic related vendors to the Wee Highlanders play area, there was something for everyone.
The evening Ceilidhs continued to be popular with performances by: Bang on the Ear, Fiddleheads, Madman’s Window and Caledon County. We even had an impromptu set of Tragically Hip songs by The Highland Creek Pipe Band!
This event couldn’t happen without the help of our volunteers. Committee members of course are at work throughout the year but we call upon a small army of helpers on the weekend of the Games to provide construction expertise, sell tickets and manage parking among other tasks. Special mention goes to OCEAP Search and Rescue members who expertly took care of bar duties, security and first aid while the pre-service fire fighters from Fleming College supplied much needed muscle. Many thanks to all our volunteers.
We’re planning an even bigger bash next year for our 60th year so mark your calendars for the 14th and 15th of June 2024. Follow us on Facebook and Instagram for updates too. See you next year!!