Thousands pack park for Scottish Festival


By Josh Howald


Everybody was a little Scottish on the weekend.



The caber toss is always the most popular event at the Heavy Events, held Saturday at the Harbour as part of the 15th annual Kincardine Scottish Festival and Highland Games. (Josh Howald photo)


The 15th annual Kincardine Scottish Festival and Highland Games drew thousands to Kincardine on the weekend. Some warm, sunny weather attracted record crowds to Victoria Park, and some added events should bolster the bottom line even more than in previous years.


"It went very well, we're very, very pleased with the turnout," said Event Manager Janice Griffith on Monday morning. "We haven't done a final tally yet to see how many people we had in (Victoria) Park. It certainly seemed like a lot more people were there on Sunday than in previous years."


Some new events were added to Sunday's line-up, including a Clydesdale horse demonstration, sheep shearing and children's events. The bands took to the stage a third and final time Sunday afternoon, with the Mudmen inviting dozens of children up on stage to dance along to their upbeat music.


The Legs in Kilts competition on Thursday evening, however, did not draw well and it appeared that the Heavy Events at the harbour were not as well attended as in past years.


Anyways, Kincardine didn't seem to be suffering from too much of a hangover on Monday morning. Municipal staff and volunteers worked away in Victoria Park to clean up after Kincardine's biggest party of the year. The guests were well-behaved too, said Griffith.


"We had good security people here, and I don't think they had any real incidents or problems," she said.


I'm sure they had a few people who had overindulged and were escorted out, but for the most part I think everything ran really smoothly."


The South-Bruce OPP issued no releases Monday that related to this year's Scottish Festival.


Griffith said it will likely be a few days before all the totals come in and the committee is able to come up with an attendance estimate.


But more than 200 people, nearly all local, volunteered to help out at this year's festival, which is comparable to the 2013 event.


"They did just a wonderful job," said Griffith of the volunteers.


Griffith also wanted to thank all of the sponsors of this year's festival.