Holy haggis! The 159th Victoria Highland Games Celtic Festival is back – Victoria News


It’s time to put on your tartan, tune the bagpipes and warm up your haggis-throwing muscles: the 159th Victoria Highland Games and Celtic Festival returns this month to celebrate all things Scottish!

Beginning with the Tartan Parade downtown on May 14 and continuing at Topaz Park on May 21 and 22, the renewed festival returns after two years of limited activities due to COVID-related public health orders. With your favorite events and activities and a few new surprises, the Victoria Highland Games Association welcomes you to the great grass fields of Topaz Park.

“We are thrilled to return to Topaz Park for this year’s event,” said association president Jim Maxwell. “For the past 2 years, we’ve had to keep it very local and small, and we planned for when public health orders would allow us to run the festival on a large scale again.”

A family-focused weekend of Scottish and Celtic arts and culture, the Victoria Highland Games understand :

  • Bagpipe competition
  • Scottish and Irish Highland Dance Competition
  • Heavy events, like caber toss, hammer throw
  • Haggis hurling and tug of war
  • Scottish Country Dance
  • Fiddler Shows
  • Scottish/Celtic and Folk Music Groups
  • Scottish clan and genealogy stalls and displays
  • Historical military demonstrations and demonstrations
  • Scottish/Celtic vendors of food and goods

New to this year’s event is the performance of the Saturday evening Sunset Ceremony, culminating in the Strathcona Mounted Troopalso occurring late Sunday afternoon to close the matches.

As a family event, the festival invites the whole family to join in the fun, including a large free entertainment area for children.

Plus, adults 19 and older can soak up the whiskey and single malt wine tasting schools and try Lighthouse Brewing Company’s Highland Challenge Ale, brewed especially for the games.

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Current and 6-time World Champion Drum Major Jason Paguio performs at the 2022 Victoria Highland Games.

Another exciting highlight will be the Canadian Drum Major Invitational Championship featuring six-time world champion drum major Jason Paguio.

“I was lucky enough to see the World Major Drumming Championships in Scotland in 2019, and they are really exciting to watch,” says Maxwell. “We really want to promote the drum major aspect of our games, and we’re thrilled to be able to feature an accomplished drum major like Jason. He’s also the drum major for the six-time world champion Simon Fraser University Pipe Band, who will compete during the weekend of the Games.

“If you’ve ever wanted to experience a world-class Highland Games, the 159th Victoria Highland Games & Celtic Festival will certainly meet your expectations!”

Buy your tickets early and save: Tickets are available at the Strathcona Hotel Liquor Store and Liquor Planet in Langford, or online via Eventbrite. Tickets are also available at the Games gates (cash only, but ATMs are present) and children under 12 enjoy FREE entry.

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Jennifer R. Strohm