Some 29 bands and about 125 solo pipers and drummers have entered for the first competition of the 2018 Pipers & Pipe Band Society of Ontario outdoor season, the Georgetown Highland Games in Georgetown, Ontario, on Saturday, June 9.
With a total of only five entered in Grade 1 and Grade 2, 83% of bands will be in the lower grades, in what appears to be a continuing trend for the Ontario scene. The Georgetown games in 2017 attracted 32 bands in all, with six in the top two grades, including four in Grade 1, which was won by the 78th Highlanders (Halifax Citadel) from Nova Scotia.
Grade 1 will see the 78th Fraser Highlanders and the Toronto Police go head-to-head in an MSR competition. Grade 2 Medley event will be contested by 400 Squadron, the Hamilton Police, and the Peel Regional Police, the latter two competing in the grade for the first time outdoors, after Hamilton was upgraded and Peel downgraded following the 2017 season.
The most contested band event will be Grade 4, with 10 in it.
There are eight competitions on the PPBSO outdoor calendar:
- Georgetown Highland Games, Georgetown, Ontario, June 9
- Cobourg Highland Games, Cobourg Ontario, June 16
- Embro Highland Games, Embro, Ontario, July 1
- Kincardine Scottish Festival, Kincardine, Ontario, July 7
- Cambridge Highland Games, Cambridge, Ontario, July 21
- Glengarry Highland Games, Maxville, Ontario, August 3-4
- Fergus Scottish Festival, Fergus, Ontario, August 11-12
- North Lanark Highland Games, Almonte, Ontario, August 25
The Glengarry Highland Games are by far the largest, and the biggest piping and drumming event in the world by number of separate events and contestants.
The first competition of the 2018 outdoor Ontario season was the Kingston Scottish Festival in Kingston, Ontario, on May 26. That event was not sanctioned by the PPBSO.
The weatehr forecast for Georgetwon on June 9 is mostly sunny with the chance of a shower and a high of 22.
Stay tuned to pipes|drums for results from Georgetown, as they are made available.