Cobourg Highland Games celebrates Canada’s Scottish heritage

Thousands of people turned out to celebrate Scottish heritage in the heart of Canada at the 55th Annual Cobourg Highland Games.

Coburg Highland Games massed bands next to the best beach in Ontario, Canada

Coburg Highland Games massed bands

Held at beautiful Victoria Park on the Cobourg Beach, this year’s Honorary Chieftain was Margaret Jean Carr, the daughter of David Carr who founded the Highland Games more than half a century ago.

The thrilling sound of the Pipes and Drums was heard all day long, provided by 28 competing Bands and Cobourg’s own Legion Pipes and Drums, who led off the Opening Ceremonies.

The Legion Pipe Band led in the dignitaries, including the Mayor of Cobourg, Gil Brocanier, who was wearing a kilt in the new Cobourg Tartan, which was just produced this year.

The dignitaries were followed by the participating Clans and 198 Highland dancers, who formed a huge circle around the Pipe Band and performed the Highland Fling. The dancers were aged from 4-years and up and delighted the crowd with their performance.

The Legion Pipe Band then led the Clans and Dancers off the field, and the crowd was then thrilled by the spectacle of the Massed Bands

Cobourgh Highland Games celebrating Scottish heritage with activities for all ages

A games for all ages

With the Games officially underway, the Pipe Bands got down to the serious business of competing in all five grades, while the dancers continued to please the crowd with their own competitions.

Throughout the day about 18 Heavy contestants awed the crowd with amazing feats of strength, as they tossed the Caber, threw Hammers and, new this year, lifted the great Stones of Strength

There were many different Vendors at the Games selling Scottish products and foods, and other types of merchandise, some not totally Scottish in nature.

The youngsters were not forgotten this year with the opening of the new Wee Highlanders play area, where they earned a passport to become a Highlander for the day. It was a place where they could learn to sword fight, be a heavy contestant, how to Highland dance and try out many more activities.

After all the Pipe Bands, Highland Dancers and Heavy competitions were over, the Massed Bands returned to give the crowd a rousing farewell in the Closing Ceremonies. Their rendition of Amazing Grace made the hair on the back of everyone’s necks stand on end.

For a full list of all the winning Pipe Bands, visit the Pipers and Pipe Band Society of Ontario (PPBSO) at

  • Full feature in Issue No.20