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Kilts, cabers and clans on tap for Colchester Highland Games and Gathering

Gallus Gael members, from left, James Finnie, Scott Whitelaw and Argyll Finnie.
Gallus Gael members, from left, James Finnie, Scott Whitelaw and Argyll Finnie.

BIBLE HILL, N.S. – Linda and James Finnie are getting more excited as the date of the Colchester Highland Games & Gathering approaches.

This is the first year for the event, which takes place Sept. 9. It’s promising to be an amazing show with dancers, music, heavyweights, games, food and more.

“We can guarantee you a good time and good entertainment but we can’t guarantee a Scottish rain,” said James, president of the Colchester Highland Games and Gathering Society. “If the sun shines we’d still like people to attend.”

The gates open at 8 a.m. with highland dancing beginning at 8:30 and heavyweight competition at 9. At 10:30 there will be a parade of participants from St. David’s United Church, on Pictou Road, to the Jennifer Drive ball fields, where the gathering takes place.

One of the highlights of the day will be a one-hour performance by Clann An Drumma, a Scottish tribal band that has recorded six albums.

There will also be pipes and drums, fiddlers, Mi’kmaq and Acadian music, and Irish dancers.

More than 150 highland dancers will be competing and heavyweights will be tossing cabers and throwing hammers.

“The heavyweights will also have a challenge for the public,” said Linda. “The Ogilvie Stone, a 138-pound stone will be there and, for a small fee, people can try to lift it. The first person lift it onto their shoulders receives a monetary prize.”

The public is invited to enter teams in a tug o’ war, and the heavyweights will challenge the winners to a tug.

There will be a kilted dash for adults and several games for children, as well as a tactical assault display from the Nova Scotia Highlanders. Dogs that are afraid of loud noises shouldn’t be brought.

Gallus Gael, historical re-enactors, will be providing demonstrations throughout the day and a living history display will allow visitors to step back in time.

There will be a craft fair, food vendors, clan tents and RCMP dog demonstrations.

Admission to the games and gathering is $10; children in Grade 5 and under - accompanied by a paying adult- get in free.

During the evening there will be a traditional Scottish Ceilidh dance, for ages 19 and up, at the Holiday Inn. Music will be provided by the Nova Scotia Ceilidh Band and Clann an Drumma.

“It’s going to be a great day,” said James. “Let’s show the rest of the world Colchester County is the place to be. Even if you don’t have any Scottish ancestors at all, this is still your games. This is Colchester County’s games.”

Organizers hope the gathering can become a week-long event within a few years.


Tartan Reveal set for Sept. 8

To be among the first to set eyes on the Colchester Tartan stop by the Truro Civic Square on Sept. 8.

The evening of the reveal will include music by the Good Times Fiddlers, Colchester Highland Dancers, Ceilidh dancing, a short performance by Clann An Drumma – performing Scottish tribal music – refreshments and snacks, and the revealing of the tartan.

This event is free.

Clann An Drumma are coming from Scotland to play at the Colchester Highland Games.

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