A massive Celtic celebration is coming to Central Alberta.
There will be live music, games and more celebrating Scottish heritage at the 71st annual Red Deer Highland Games June 23 from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Westerner Park.
The games, which have been held in Red Deer since 1947, is hosted and organized by a team of volunteers.
Jennifer Meyn, Red Deer Highland Games chair, said the event is always a blast.
“There’s a lot of fun and entertainment … for families and people of all ages,” she said. “If you aren’t Scottish, you’re certainly going to feel Scottish by the end of the day.”
Meyn said the games board hopes the games continue to grow.
“We’d like to get all of Red Deer out, but I don’t know if that’s possible. We had a few thousand go through our gate last year and we’d like to double it.
“Last year alone we almost doubled in size. We’ve really grown over the last two years and in the next few years there’s going to be more events … that are newer to us and newer to the area,” Meyn said.
There will be a pub, concessions and a public market – attendees can also taste Scottish ale and Scottish foods like haggis.
“We want to make sure we honour our Scottish heritage,” Meyn said. “The games come from Scotland, so we’re basically just bringing the tradition over here so we can enjoy it with the Scottish population and non-Scottish population.”
Meyn said she hopes it will be a warm, sunny day.
“So far is seems to be sunny and above 20 degrees that day. Hopefully that holds up,” she said.
In addition to day-long dancing, piping and drumming events, there will be athletic competitions, such as caber tosses and hammer throws, a sheep dog demonstration, shortbread judging, tug of war, and performances from Scottish country dancers and massed bands.
For more information or to purchase tickets visit www.reddeerhighlandgames.ca.