Fergus Scottish Festival and Highland Games hosts online events

FERGUS – The organizers of the Fergus Scottish Festival and the Highland Games 2020 have put a lot of events online.

What would have been the 75e anniversary celebration has been postponed from this weekend to next year due to the pandemic.

“This is arguably the biggest Scottish festival in Canada,” said David Radley, president of the Fergus Scottish Festival. “So we tried to maintain that. “

The festival now takes place virtually over three days.

“We called it the ‘Wee Digital Ceilidh,” Radley said. “It’s on our website and our Facebook page.

Videos that celebrate the city’s Scottish roots are featured on the platform.

“There is the bagpipes and the drums, there is the dancing,” said Canadian Senator Robert Black. “Heavy events and culture and heritage. “

There are also several in-person performances in the town with the local bagpipe group, marching band and Scottish dancers.

“We see this as an extraordinary event for an extraordinary time,” said festival coordinator Elizabeth Bender. “We had a decorating contest, pained the city’s tartan and had the chance to decorate homes and businesses. “

Radley says that on a regular festival weekend, they typically attract 21,000 to 22,000 people over the weekend.

Organizers estimate the financial impact of the canceled event to be around $ 3 million.

“We always get a lot of sales and a lot of great people from all over the place,” said Carley Fryer, an employee of the One and Only Market in downtown Fergus. “I saw a lot of locals come here, a lot of people come out and just support.”

Organizers say next year’s festival and games will be bigger and better than ever.

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Jennifer R. Strohm