Running from July 7th-9th, the Kincardine Scottish Festival & Highland Games is one of the largest celebrations of Gaelic culture and heritage in Ontario. This annual event has run for more than two decades, featuring traditional Scottish cuisine, exciting competitions, and of course, bag pipe bands.

Drawing visitors, musicians, and athletes from across North America to the quaint lakeside town of Kincardine, here are just some of the best things to do and see at the Kincardine Scottish Festival & Highland Games.

What Bands Are Playing at the Kincardine Scottish Festival & Highland Games?

The Kincardine Scottish Festival & Highland Games will feature a number of musical acts, including more than 30 pipe bands playing the traditional ballads and marches of Scotland. However, variety is the spice of life, and the festival lineup features a diverse array of Canadian musicians ranging from indie singer-songwriters to alt rockers.

The Saturday concert will be headlined by Glass Tiger, the Grammy-nominated Canadian rockers whose 1986 album, The Thin Red Line, went quadruple platinum with unforgettable 80s hit Don’t Forget Me. The festival lineup also includes the Screaming Orphans, a quartet of Irish sisters with a pop punk sound that incorporates traditional Celtic tunes, and local musicians like Boiler Beach and 21 and 9.

What Events are Held at the Kincardine Scottish Festival & Highland Games?

The centrepiece of the Kincardine Scottish Festival, the Highland Games will feature dozens of competitors facing off in traditional Gaelic feats of strength and dexterity, such as the Caber Toss and the Stone Throw, a precursor to modern shot-put.

The festival will also feature a Highland Dance Competition where groups in various age brackets will perform traditional dances like Pas de Bas and the thrilling Sword Dance, where dancers must complete their routine without making contact with the swords at their feat. They will also perform the Sean Truibhas, a dance said to be developed by the Scottish to protest being forced to wear trousers instead of kilts by the English.

The event will also feature a number of activities for families and young children. Guests can also visit the Clan Avenue to learn about the history of the Scottish clans and perhaps discover more about their own roots.

Special Thanks to the Comfort Inn in Kincardine, Ontario for their suggestions.

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