Ben Tayler, left, and Stephen McIntosh sword fighting at last year’s Highland games at Westerner Park. File photo by ADVOCATE staff

Get the kilts ready – Red Deer Highland Games returning for 72nd year

The event is this Saturday at Westerner Park

Kilts, haggis, bagpipes and everything else that makes up Highland heritage will be celebrated this weekend.

The 72nd annual Red Deer Highland Games will return to Westerner Park on Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“We want to involve the community and have everyone come out and be a Scot for a day. Even if you’re not Scottish, we want you to come out and enjoy our heritage,” said Red Deer Highland Games chair Jennifer Meyn.

The event has been in Red Deer since 1947 and is regarded as the kickoff to the Highland games season in Alberta, Meyn said, adding she loves everything about the culture.

There will be nine pipe bands, 36 individual dance events, 40 individual piping and drumming events and 32 heavy event competitors throughout the day.

“We usually see over 3,000 attendees come through the gates,” said Meyn.

“We have gotten bigger competitor-wise and event-wise. We have an all-day band that comes in and an entertainment tent with spinners and weavers.

“We have a kids’ area this time around, too, and there’s mini golf – everybody likes to play that.”

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 vendors.

The event remains popular after more than seven decades, said Meyn.

“We just bring in entertainment and our competitors usually take care of it themselves. We have a really good following.”

The event will have free parking.

Sylvia Morison will serve as chieftain of the day, on behalf of her late husband Robert Morison.

For more information, visit

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