Seventy years ago, piper Peter MacInnes after returning to Maxville from a Highland Games in Embro, Ontario, wondered to his friend and local vet, Doc Gamble, “Why could we not have a Highland Games like this in old Glengarry?” The two friends set the plan in motion with local politicians and businessmen and in August 1948, Maxville hosted its first Highland Games.

Today the Games have grown to two full days, Friday and Saturday, with a wide range of special events that keep the crowds coming and turning it into one of North America’s premier Highland Games. No matter how the Games change they still honour the traditional sporting and cultural events of their Scottish ancestors. 

This year’s 70th edition on August 4 and 5 in Maxville will salute the contributions of Scots in Canada as a tribute to our Nation’s 150th, but the real focus will be celebrating 70 years of producing the best celtic event possible.

As Games President Anne Stewart states, “Plans are well underway to bring a combination of new and traditional events to this summer’s Glengarry Highland Games. Our guest will be treated to an amazing array of History and Heritage in celebration of the Games’ 70th anniversary and Canada’s 150th.”

A Heritage Village will showcase Glengarry’s rich history and heritage as well as 70 proud years of the Games. Characters from Canada’s history can be found strolling the grounds and visiting the Clans and History displays. In a few weeks, the Friday Tattoo headliners will be announced and their names will please all Games fans, young and old. Everyone always wants to know who will open the Games and when the Guest of Honour is announced next month, people will agree with the choice of someone who has given so much not only to the Games but to Canada and the world as well. A 70th Games logo was designed and will announce to all that this is a special Games.

In 1948, when the first Games organizers decided to revive the ancient Scottish traditions with their highland event, little did they think that 70 years later, tens of thousands would still be trekking to Maxville on the long summer holiday weekend. As Past President and Peter MacInnes’ daughter reminisces, “It is too bad that all the organizers in 1948 couldn’t see what the Games have become.”

Article submitted Dona Cruickshank

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