Tuning up for the big weekend

15th annual Scottish Festival and Highalnd Games underway

Get your kilts out and your bagpipes tuned, the 15th annual Kincardine Scottish Festival and Highland Games are about to begin.


Highland Dancers put on a show at last year's Kincardine Scottish Festival and Highland Games. The dancers take the stage tomorrow (Saturday) morning. (Independent file photo/Josh Howald)


Thousands of visitors are pouring into town today for the biggest weekend of the summer in Kincardine. Things actually kicked off last night and the Kincardine Centre for the Arts with the opening round of the "Legs in Kilts" show/contest. The final round of that competition will be held tonight (Friday).

Today, the Institute of Scottish Culture Workshop at the United Church in Kincardine is open, with sessions on finding your family tree at 1 p.m. At 3 p.m., the regalia and food vendors will open for business and the first act of the weekend will take the stage in Victoria Park at 4 p.m. The Ballagh Family will entertain until the Piping of the Haggis at 6 p.m. That will be followed by Haggis and Scottish Spirits Tasting in the Victoria Park gazebo. The official opening of the festival will take place at 7 p.m. tonight, followed by the Legs in Kilts finals. The party really begins a little later though, with The Pleats, The Thogs, Emily Flack, the Glengarry Bhoys and the always energetic Mudmen performing on stage.

Tomorrow the pipes will be in full force, with solo piping and band competitions running all day long. The Highland Dancers will have the stage, however, while the strongmen of the Heavy Events will do their thing down at Kincardine Harbour. Children's activities will take place in Victoria Park and at Station Beach in the afternoon, and Knox Church will host the always popular Beef on a Bun barbecue. The Pub tents open at 11 a.m., which is when the Loch Huron's Parade of the Clans starts on Queen Street. Taking part will be the host clan - Clan MacDougall, the Heavy Events athletes and the Kincardine Scottish, the Teeswater Pipe Band, and visiting clans. Like every Saturday night, the Kincardine Scottish will march down Queen St. at 8 p.m. All the same great acts that were on stage Friday night return for Saturday night's festivities.

Sunday is Family Day, beginning with the Kirkin O'the Tartan and Knox Church. Displays and demonstrations will take place at the Institute of Scottish Culture beginning at 11 a.m. There are children's activities in the park starting at 1 p.m., and all the musical acts will do Sunday performances as well. Those begin at noon, kicked off by the Kincardine Fiddle Orchestra. The closing ceremonies are at 5 p.m. Sunday, followed by a new event this year, the Kitchen Party. People are urged to bring their own instruments and play along with the Emily Flack Band.

For full coverage of this weekend's festival, including a page of colour photos, don't miss next week's print edition of The Kincardine Independent!

- Josh Howald