2020 Colonial Games cancelled; pro solos still on
For one of the few times since its inception in 1961, the Colonial Highland Gathering in Elkton, Maryland, will not take place due to the Fair Hill Race Track site undergoing major renovations. Rather than search for a new venue, the outdoor event has been cancelled outright.
Originally the Delaware Highland Gathering, and colloquially often referred to as “Fair Hill,” the May competition has been an early season staple on the eastern United States piping and drumming circuit.
The decision to cancel was made by the event’s board of directors. The competition had seen a decline in participation over the last decade, including a once well-contested Grade 2 band event having no entries.
The separately run indoor solo professional solo piping contest is apparently still moving forward. The Piobaireachd and MSR events have seen solid participation, frequented by many of North America’s best pipers.
According to piping organizer David Bailiff, “The games site was awarded a premier steeplechase event and, in order to have the event, there are major renovations that need to be done. The games was just notified a couple of months ago that the site may not be ready for May 2020. The plan is to come back in 2021, and there is no intention or suggestion that the games is going away.”
The Elkton racetrack site is owned by the state of Maryland. Bailiff added that there was a search for a different site, which was unsuccessful.
The games reportedly did not take place in 1962 and 1977.
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