March 31, 2010

Ontario games rescued; Oshawa competition moves to new venue

After a tornado interrupted the 2009 return of Ontario’s Oshawa Highland Games after the event’s 30-year hiatus, reports were rampant that the competition would not be back for 2010. But the event is reportedly a go, after additional funds and a new venue have been secured for a July 10th return.

The Oshawa competition brings the number of scheduled outdoor events sanctioned by the Pipers & Pipe Band Society of Ontario to 10, starting with the Georgetown Highland Games on June 12th and finishing with the Almonte Highland Games on August 21st.

The Oshawa games will reportedly move to the Oshawa Valley Botanical Gardens. The beer “tent,” which last year was the only shelter for those trying to get away from the sudden, violent thunderstorm, will now be in a more solid hockey arena.

A source close to the organizing committee said that admission to the event will be free, but with paid offsite parking and shuttle service to the games’ park. He said that the venue has ample trees to provide shade for tuning, and described the setting as “a beautiful venue for the band performances.”

While events have been added in the last few years at Oshawa and Lyndsay, other sanctioned PPBSO Highland games have ceased, including popular events at Chatham and Sarnia, both of which had championship status. Non-sanctioned competitions have emerged in the province, including contests in Hanover and Kingston, whose entries have increased over the years.

The weather at last year’s Oshawa games marked the first time that the PPBSO implemented its severe weather policy of halting events, warning participants and clearing fields, brought about by a major thunderstorm at the 2008 North American Championships at Maxville, Ontario, in which several spectators were reportedly struck by lightning.

Oshawa is approximately 60 kilometres east of the city of Toronto.




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