October 27, 2023

US Pipe Band Championships at Alma going to one-day format

Since its inception in the 1970s, the Alma Highland Festival & Games has been a Saturday-Sunday event in the small college town of Alma, Michigan, over the USA’s Memorial Day weekend each May.

While that was great for American residents, who enjoyed the following Monday as a statutory holiday, Canadian pipers and drummers had difficulty getting home after the Sunday events so they could get back to their jobs on Monday.

Now, all of the piping and drumming competitions at Alma Highland Festival & Games will be held on the Saturday of the Memorial Day weekend. According to organizers and the Midwest Pipe Band Association, competitions will be held on one day on the premises of Alma College, while the overall festival will continue on Sunday.

“We are hoping that this change brings as much joy and excitement to you as it does to us.” – Alma Games

Those with a Saturday wristband will be welcome to attend the Sunday events, too.

“While several more details are still to be determined, we are hoping that this change brings as much joy and excitement to you as it does to us,” the Alma Games organizers said. “We are looking forward to sharing this with you. See you on Alma College’s Campus over Memorial Weekend, 2024!”

In a message to his members that he shared with pipes|drums, MWPBA President Jim Sim said, “More details will be discussed along with other exciting announcements at our Annual General Meeting next Saturday November 4th.”

The Alma Games were once one of the marquee events for pipers and drummers from the relatively close Canadian provinces of Ontario, Quebec, and even Manitoba. Over the last few decades, the event, despite holding the United States Pipe Band Championship, has seen a decline in attendance by Canadian bands and soloists.

With Alma timed just before the usual first outdoor pipe band competition of the year in early June at Georgetown, Ontario-based pipers and drummers could see the new one-day event in a different light.






Forgotten Password?