“Another virtual event basically:” Fergus Scottish Festival and Highland Games again welcomes some competition
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, the Fergus Scottish Festival and Highland Games has been forced to scale back its presentation, but with creativity and continued support, organizers say the festival is doing well.
“We’ve tried to do as much as possible within the confines of COVID, but it’s essentially another virtual event,” said David Radley, president of the Fergus Scottish Festival and Highland Games.
The festival was held virtually in 2020. This year some competitions like heavy casting events still take place before the official festival dates, but the majority of activities are not.
Organizers have prepared a box of festival-themed items that people can purchase and will be hosting a virtual gala on August 12. They also film the events that take place and offer a virtual version of the festival from August 13 to 15.
“It’s always nice to see that we’ve always been able to offer something to the public so that they always remember the festival taking place,” said Tammy Park, a festival volunteer.
Although he doesn’t have regular entertainment, Radley said the festival is doing well financially. He credits the continued sponsorships and strong support from the community.
“We have a much younger and more enthusiastic demographic among volunteers,” Radley said.
Prior to the pandemic, Radley said the festival had welcomed 22,000 visitors over the three days it takes place, along with 250 volunteers.
“The streets were packed, cars everywhere, you could hear the bagpipes from across the river,” Park said.
Radley hopes that next year the festival can resume its normal schedule again.
“We’re just praying that we can do a live event. Virtual events are good, but we don’t like it, we want to make things practical, ”Radley said.