Ligonier Highland Games returns as a one-day event in September


Let the games resume.

After an interruption linked to the pandemic in 2020, the Ligonier Highlands Games will return to Idlewild & SoakZone in Ligonier Township on September 18th.

Normally spanning two days, the 62nd version of the games will be a one-day event this year.

“We’ve been discussing this for a long time,” said executive director Rick Wonderly, noting that all the usual things visitors would expect will be in attendance for the condensed festival.

“We will always have a lot of events, just on a smaller scale,” he said.

The lack of judges available for bagpipe and drum, dance and track and field competitions was a major factor in the move to a single day.

Due to current restrictions on international travel, festival organizers have limited themselves to securing the services of U.S. judges, Wonderly said. The number of judges available was even more limited, as many other Highlands games canceled last year were also moved to September.

Popular returning features include the gathering of clans, entertainment, food vendors, pedigree information, a Scottish dog breed show, and Scottish tartan weaving demonstrations.

“I hope we find the flock of sheep again, but it’s tentative for now,” Wonderly said.

There are also plans for a “bigger than ever” tug-of-war competition, which organizers hope will feature teams of first responders, he said.

Visitors will also have the opportunity to participate in feats of strength, including the popular male and female beer keg throwing and the Ladies Haggis Hurling competition. Registration information is available on the games website.

Organizers will follow all CDC and park safety guidelines that are in place at the time, Wonderly said.

“Idlewild follows the same rules as big parks like Six Flags,” Wonderly said. “There will probably be restrictions on the seating in the bleachers. ”

A ticket order form can be downloaded from the Highland Games website, completed and mailed with payment to the Altoona office. There is a $ 2 discount on the admission price for pre-ordered tickets.

Advance ticket prices are $ 18, $ 16 for 55 and over, $ 3 for 11-17.


Shirley McMarlin is a writer for Tribune-Review. You can contact Shirley at 724-836-5750, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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Jennifer R. Strohm