All games a go in 2022 for Midwest USA
Even in the wake of two years of cancelled events, the Midwest Pipe Band Association have confirmed that all seven of the games that were part of its 2019 season plan to return in 2022, putting fears to rest that any competitions might pull out due to financial or other challenges.
“We just completed our MWPBA Highland Games Summit and are pleased to say that all of our usual contests said they are on for 2022,” MWPBA President Jim Sim said. “Everyone seemed upbeat and excited to get back playing again in 2022.”
Although exact dates are to be confirmed with some events, the MWPBA 2022 schedule looks like:
- Alma Highland Festival, Alma, Michigan – May 28-29
- Milwaukee Highland Games, Milwaukee – June 4th
- Scottish Festival & Highland Games, Chicago – June 17-18
- Minnesota Scottish Fair & Highland Games, Eagan, Minnesota – July (specific date TBD)
- Wisconsin Highland Games, Waukesha, Wisconsin – September 3rd
- Columbus Scottish Festival, Columbus, Indiana – September 10th (tentative)
- Tulsa Scotfest, Tulsa, Oklahoma – September (date TBD)
The Scottish Festival & Highland Games in Chicago had been gaining momentum before the pandemic struck, with a location very near to the massive Chicago O’Hare International Airport, making it easier and cost-effective for more bands to attend. The event had featured the largest Grade 2 band competition in North America, outpacing the North American Championships at Maxville, Ontario.
I think everyone is ready to get things back up and going again. The synergy at the summit was really good. – MWPBA President Jim Sim
About Chicago, Sim said that it “will be again hopefully hold the large contest that it has in the past. Adjudicators are already being worked on and four associations are already represented. There are discussions going on to make some changes that would be really great.”
Similarly, the United States Championships at Alma had been trending upward in 2019, and Sim said that they hope the trend continues. “I think everyone is ready to get things back up and going again. The synergy at the summit was really good.”
The MWPBA has held an annual summit with all of the organizers of the association’s competitions each year since 2010.”It’s a chance for all of our games to talk with us as well as each other,” Sim said. “It helps to keep the line of communication open for everyone. It has been very successful for the association and the games.”
As with the last two years, the world’s piping and drumming-rich countries and regions are on tenterhooks as to whether events will be able to proceed in-person or at all in 2022 because of the sudden surge of the Omicron strain of the coronavirus. Most associations moved to staging online solo competitions, with very few in-person contests taking place worldwide.
When the Wisconsin Highland Games cancelled last summer, the MWPBA took it upon itself to run a replacement event on its own, marking one of the first times that an association ran a pipe band competition without the involvement and financing of a third-party host.
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