April 16, 2020

157-year-old Antigonish games scratched

For the first time since one time during the Great War, the Antigonish Highland Games in Nova Scotia, won’t be held. The 157-year-old event is the oldest games in North America and recently announced that it will look forward to a return in July 2021.

Like cancellations all over the rest of the piping and drumming world, the decision was based on the uncertainty around the coronavirus pandemic.

Further west in Canada, the Ontario Highland games season is pretty much done, except for the Glengarry Highland Games in Maxville, Ontario, which has yet to make an announcement about its massive July 31 and August 1 event but maintains, “Right now, we are watching the world situation very carefully. At this point, we have made no decision to cancel the Games. You can be sure that we will let you know when and if the situation changes.”

“Maxville” is the home of the North American Pipe Band Championships, and draws tens of thousands of paying spectators to the event, which includes a lot more than the piping, drumming and pipe band competitions.

With all of the RSPBA major championships cancelled outright, including the World’s, Maxville is by far the biggest competition in the world that still might take place.

Canada and the United States, like some countries in Europe have already done, are discussing a phased return to some degree of normalcy starting as soon as mid-May. But larger gatherings like sporting events and Highland games would appear to be permissible only after completing at least two weeks-long phases.

According to pipes|drums’ current poll of readers, almost 65% of respondents who are a member of one say that their band has shut down completely, with no online practices of any kind happening.





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