The fairgrounds in Maxville may be empty the last weekend in July this year, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t ways everyone can still enjoy a little taste of the Glengarry Highland Games. Whether it is online or in person, there are still occasions for people to don their kilts and games t-shirts to celebrate their Celtic heritage.

Organizers have arranged for a number of events in 2021, both during the games’ regular weekend in late July, and in early August. There are also plans to organize events later in the season.

Below are some of the virtual and live events planned. All of the virtual events will be broadcast online through the Zoom platform and links will be posted on the Glengarry Highland Games Facebook page at

Virtual events

This year’s virtual line up will air during the days of the games, Friday, July 30 and Saturday, July 31, as a combination of some things old and some things new will be presented. Anyone who missed last year’s virtual games concert will have another opportunity this year to gather all the clan together for a wee ceilidh and watch the show. The token toss and the massed highland fling will be back, as well as a few clips on the past heroes of the heavyweights.

Pipers compete online

New features being aired in 2021 will be of interest to fans of past games. For anyone missing the sound of the pipes, the Pipe Band Society of Ontario (PPBSO) is presenting a Glengarry Highland Games online contest for solo piping and drumming. The contest is open to all PPBSO members. The final results of the competition will be streamed live at the traditional time of the closing massed bands on Saturday, July 31.

Scottish fiddlers entertain

On July 18, many of Glengarry’s finest fiddlers gathered at the Metcalfe Centre in Maxville to put together a Scottish Fiddle concert, which will premiere on Saturday, July 31. Check out this show for a listen to some of your favourite fiddlers, plus a bonus performance by the Glengarry Massed Fiddlers. You’ll recognize some of your friends and neighbours as you enjoy the show. The concert organizers promise a few surprise guests as well.

Just A Wee Dram Tasting

What would a Highland Games be without a Scotch tasting? This year organizers are offering a virtual Scotch Tasting. Everything will be on Zoom except the Scotch – that will be delivered to participants by games volunteers before the tastings. Frank McDonald, a well-known Scotch tastings expert, along with guest presenter, Steven Rankin – live from Scotland – invite you to enjoy a virtual scotch tasting on Saturday, August 7, at 4 p.m.

For $40, participants will sample six different expressions from Gordon and McPhail owned by the Urquhart family of Benromach fame and learn more about the history of the company and the background of each sample. Spaces are limited. Check the Games social media for more details.

Get your souvenirs

As the COVID-19 restrictions lessen in Stage 3, there will be more opportunities to gather together and celebrate the Glengarry Highland Games and our Celtic heritage. For those who need to update their games gear, there will be souvenirs available at the Maxville Fairgrounds each Saturday and Sunday. Sales have been brisk, so be sure to arrive there early, as sizes may be limited and everyone will want to look their best for the return of the Games in 2022.

Play a round of golf to support the games

The Glengarry Highland Games Annual Golf Tournament is on for 2021 at a new date. The event will be held at the Glengarry Golf Club on August 6, as a day of sport, camaraderie, food and fun. The course is in great shape and what better way to celebrate together than in a friendly game of golf?

The entry fee is $120 per person, which includes golf and cart, lunch, special hole surprises and more. Many groups have already signed up but there is still room for more. Don’t forget to wear your tartan proudly.

Concerts, Sports and More To Come

The Glengarry Highland Games will be providing more opportunities to join in over the month of August and organizers are still working with the Eastern Ontario Health Unit to make sure these events are offered in a safe manner. Details will be released as soon as the green light is given to go ahead.