Bagpipes play during Glengarry Highland Games weekend

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MAXVILLE – There was nothing virtual about this event which would have been the day of the Glengarry Highland Games on Saturday.

By mid-afternoon, three members of the Glengarry Pipe Band gathered on a small wooden platform next to an ice cream shop / sugar camp a few miles south of Maxville, and, well , they just played.

It wasn’t exactly a Scottish flash mob; it was a “Pipergram” performance, one of many outfits throughout the region, fundraisers for the group which marks a 60e anniversary in 2021.

“It gives people a taste of the Games,” bagpiper Chris McPherson said after the performance, which was attended by around 20 people, some of whom were pleasantly surprised by ordering ice cream cones.

McPherson said a dozen pipergrams were delivered on Saturday, with many of the group involved, and that releasing the bagpipes for the day was more than a symbolic link to future mass gatherings.

“If you don’t hear the tips, it’s just not Highland Games Weekend (pandemic or not),” McPherson said.

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Rebecca MacIntosh, owner of the Ole Sugar Barn ice cream shop which opened earlier this year on Angel Road just south of SDG County Road 43, took a short break to go out and thank the artists and the gathering, in saying ‘we hope to see everyone at the Highland games in 2022.

But 2021 could be at least slightly festive in early September for all bagpipe fans going on a road trip. A Facebook post last week said it looked promising that there will be a 57th Cobourg Highland Games Sept. 10-11, in the community east of Oshawa, and McPherson said it’s possible that the Glengarry Pipe Band participate.

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As for the mostly virtual event in the hometown, it was another splendid Saturday in a very quiet village, a few small gatherings held under a mix of sun / clouds, a cool breeze blowing and reminding many how perfect it would have been. for the real deal.

  1. Document / Cornwall Standard-Freeholder / Postmedia Network A piper heats up, in this file photo provided by the Glengarry Highland Games.  Document not intended for resale

    A mini Glengarry Highland Games returns this weekend, remotely

  2. Document / Cornwall Standard-Freeholder / Postmedia Network A piper heats up, in this file photo provided by the Glengarry Highland Games.  Document not intended for resale

    Will any live events be hosted by the Virtual Glengarry Highland Games?

  3. A lone bagpiper near an infield entrance to the Kenyon Agricultural Society Exhibition Center.  Photo on Saturday August 1, 2020, in Maxville, Ont.  Todd Hambleton / Cornwall Standard-Freeholder / Postmedia Network

    Organizers: See you at the Glengarry Highland Games in 2022

It would have been 73rd edition of the Glengarry Highland Games, but it’s still pending. However, just like in 2020, the Games weren’t entirely canceled – or at least their spirit was alive, with many small private gatherings and parties, and a few virtual activities online. The new format started with the games concert, followed by competitions on Saturday, and that will continue next weekend.

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On Friday August 6, people are invited to play a round of golf at the Glengarry Golf and Country Club in Alexandria for $ 120. On Saturday August 7, Scotch fans will be able to sample samples in the comfort of their own homes.

Frank McDonald, a well-known scotch tasting expert as well as guest presenter Steven Rankin, live from Scotland, invite people to enjoy a virtual scotch tasting on Saturday at 4pm.

For the Glengarrians, and many others from across the region and beyond, the games are more than music, dancing and refreshments. It’s an annual reunion – a gathering to have a good time with many people who will not be seen again until the next edition.

It’s kind of a reference to midsummer, a celebration of the peak of the season and with just a hint of reminder that in a few weeks the holidays will end, the kids will be back to school and the hockey will start again.

It was in mid-April 2020 when, as it became clear that the pandemic would have lasting ramifications, the Games were canceled for the very first time.

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Jennifer R. Strohm

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