Back to action! Fergus Scottish Festival and Highland Games return

Fun in Fergus at a previous festival.

For the first time in three summers, the call of the bagpipes will sound to a live crowd at the Fergus Scottish Festival and Highland Games.

The hugely popular three-day celebration of all things Scottish returns to Fergus on the weekend of August 12-14, following virtual events the previous two summers due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“People are very confident that they will relive this experience live,” Elizabeth Bender, the festival’s executive director, said in a press release.

“There really is nothing quite like being at the live event – seeing that caber thrown across the pitch and the sound of the pipes and the cheers of the crowd. We can’t wait to get started.

The 77th annual summer festival is packed with events and activities that celebrate local Scottish heritage and showcase world-class talent and entertainment, the statement said.


• Heavyweight events featuring athletes from around the world competing in traditional Scottish events that test strength and power;

Highland Dance and Pipes and Drums Competition;

• Heritage activities rooted in Scottish culture, including demonstrations, lectures, entertainment and exhibitions;

• Special guests including “Outlander” author Diana Gabaldon and cast members Duncan Lacroix and Gillebride MacMillan from the hit TV series based on the bestselling books;

• Musical entertainment, featuring Scotland’s popular Red Hot Chilli Pipers, Canadian Celtic rockers Mudmen and more;

• Whiskey tastings, a tea room, a genealogy center to help visitors trace their Scottish roots and international vendors.

After more than three-quarters of a century, the annual festival attracts visitors from southwestern Ontario, the Greater Toronto Area and elsewhere in Canada and around the world, according to the release.

“We have several generations of families coming year after year, and then we have a lot of new people who have come and made it a new adventure or a once-in-a-lifetime adventure,” Bender said.

Organizers encourage visitors to purchase tickets online in advance to avoid lines at the gate. Visit


The Fergus Scottish Festival and Highland Games is supported by tourism partners including the Government of Ontario, Government of Canada, Regional Tourist Board 4, Township of Center Wellington, OLG and Your Hometown Realty.

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Jennifer R. Strohm