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Highland Games celebrate Scottish heritage in Saskatchewan

Sunday’s cold weather didn’t stop hundreds of people from kicking up their kilts to have some fun during Regina’s Highland Games.

Dancers and pipe bands were forced indoors and the popular sport caber toss was scaled down, but everyone in attendance still had a chance to take in all the events.

The event is held to showcase the type of culture Scotland has, and it is an opportunity to bring a little bit of the country to Saskatchewan. Many people in the province make it a regular event to attend every year.

“We moved back to Regina in 1989, and haven’t come every year, but I come fairly regularly,” Iain Mentipley said. “Mainly I enjoy listening to the pipe band.”

Scottish step dancers thrilled the crowd with dance moves they have been perfecting since they were young children. Event organizer Iain MacDonald explains that most highland dancers start around age three, but musicians also start at an early age.

“Pipers and drummers start around age eight or 10, usually, although there are lots of adults now learning” MacDonald said. “They typically will take a year to get onto the bag pipe.”

MacDonald points out this kind of event brings people together to celebrate their heritage.

“An event like this attracts those people who are here and gets people interested in continuing on the traditions of piping and drumming in pipe bands and highland dance,” MacDonald explained. “It’s kind of an important gathering and a way for people to express their culture.”

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