Let the Games Begin

July 21, 2023
The MacCulloch Dancers at the Tattoo

While the pipes are the main attraction for many at the Glengarry Highland Games, for others it’s the celtic entertainment that draws them to Maxville to enjoy the best in local bands and an added mix of groups from across North America. This year’s Games entertainment lineup will keep that promise and fill the site with great tunes on August 4 and 5.

Music takes to the stage in the Metcalfe Centre at 11 am on Friday when the Harp Workshop presents guest harpist, Rachel Clemente from New England. A record number of people have registered for the session and everyone is invited to be part of the audience for a relaxing and moving musical experience.

Right after the harps leave the stage, the Friday afternoon entertainment starts at 12:30pm with a celtic duo of harpist and piper from New England with the interesting name, “If You Must Know”. A real treat for fans will be a performance by award-winning Anna Ludlow from Antigonish, Nova Scotia who has been rocking the Canadian celtic scene with her fiddle and vocals for over two decades. An added bonus will be The MacCulloch Dancers taking to the stage on Friday afternoon for a colourful and dynamic performance. The Ceilidh Drovers will live up to their name as Party Drivers with a rousing show. The Glengarry Girls Choir and youngster Nolan Stoqua will round out the afternoon’s program and keep the large audience totally satisfied. Later in the evening, the Friday night dance will attract a full house with the ever popular The 2 Paddys and Hadrian’s Wall keeping the dance floor filled.

RCMP Pipes at the Tattoo

The Friday night Tattoo is always a not-to-miss event with its spectacular military show. The evening starts off with Glengarry’s Massed Fiddlers warming up the audience for the Tattoo start at 7pm. As part of the Games salute to the RCMP on their 150th Anniversary, Commissioner Mike Duheme will officially start off the evening’s program. Included in this colourful array of pageantry will be the massed highland fling with Glengarrry’s MacCulloch Dancers, massed pipe bands, the Band of the Ceremonial Guard from Parliament Hill and a special performance by the RCMP Pipes, Drums and Dancers in honour of their anniversary. Musical headliner for the night is the high-energy celtic rock Derina Harvey Band from Edmonton Alberta. An added feature to the Tattoo will be The 2 Paddys, two gifted musicians who will be joined by Noel Campbell and Duncan Gillis to add to this memorable evening of tradition and entertainment that is a highlight of the Games. If conditions permit, the evening will be capped off with a dazzling fireworks display.

Derina Harvey Band from Edmonton Alberta

After the Tattoo, the crowd makes its way to the Metcalfe Centre and the Tent for the ever popular Friday night dances. Taking to the stage in the Tent will be one of Glengarry’s most popular young bands, the County Lads. They’ll share the stage with the energetic and talented Hallions showcasing some of Glengarry’s finest musical talent.

Saturday offers even more outstanding celtic music. Starting at 2 pm in the Metcalfe Centre, fans will welcome some of their traditional favourites. What would a Games be without a set by the Brigadoons playing Glengarry My Home. People in Glengarry grew up with their music and now their children are doing the same. Bob Burnie has also been part of the music culture at the Games for years with various groups notably Bob and Duckie. This year, Bob will be joined by musical friends for his rendition of perennial celtic tunes. The Tattoo headliners, the Derina Harvey Band will also take to the stage in the Metcalfe Centre allowing fans to get up close with this high-energy group.

Over in the Tent, the County Lads return and start off the afternoon lineup at 2pm. The lineup includes Brandy N’ Port a mainstay at the Games who will provide a lively set showing off their versatility and talent. Glengarry’s Bang on the Ear have been entertaining Games fans for years with their traditional tunes and their rendition of that “Glengarry sound”. Another popular local group who are always a hit at the Games, Fridge Full of Empties, closes out the afternoon in the Tent.

The entertainment venues close at 6pm for the massed bands performance but start back up at 7pm to rock the night away Glengarry style. In the Metcalfe Centre, Brandy and Port share the evening’s lineup with Fridge Full of Empties while over in the Tent, Bang on the Ear split the night with East Coast Experience, a versatile duo whose East Coast tunes will keep the crowd on their feet dancing and coming back for more.

This year’s Games entertainment lineup is sure to hit all the right notes and be right up there with one of the best. On August 4 and 5, the best lineup of celtic music to be found anywhere will be right here in your own backyard. See you at the Games and don’t forget your dancing shoes. For full details on the Games, visit their website and for updates, check Facebook and Instagram.


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