An inside view of the Games
(Editor’s note: This year, The Glengarry News asked its summer student, Taylor Young, to write about his experiences at the Glengarry Highland Games. He did double duty this year – working as a photo/journalist for this newspaper and piping with the Glengarry Pipe Band. Here is his story.)
The Glengarry Highland Games has come and gone, and I’m left feeling somewhat bewildered, just as I am every year.
For me, the two-day event always seems to be over in the blink of an eye. But as the saying goes, “Time flies when you’re having fun.”
Well, this year certainly was fun and I am already excited for what next year will bring.
Among my highlights for this year were experiencing the very first Highland broadsword fencing competition at the Games, being up close and personal at some of the heavyweight competitions, hearing the cheers from the crowd after our band competition on Aug. 3 and, of course, having the honour of being this year’s piper in the tower during the tattoo on Friday night. Since I was young and before I started playing with the Glengarry Pipe Band, it was my dream to someday be the piper in the tower. I’d watch and listen, imagining myself up there.
This year it was a dream come true, and it was so much more than I imagined.
Looking down and seeing the thousands of people gathered together to watch the tattoo, it occurred to me, not for the first time, just how important events like the Glengarry Highland Games really are.
It’s an event that brings the community together, not just from Glengarry but from all over the world. I met and talked to people from the across Canada, the U.S.A and even from Scotland, Ireland and Switzerland. All these people gathering together in a small town to celebrate our culture and heritage. It truly is amazing. Everything from, “big men throwing heavy things,” as Cole Jackson from Picton described it, dancers defying gravity, musicians weaving magic through music, to the spectacle of Highland broadsword fencing, the Games really brings it all.
And so; despite the heat, pain in my feet and legs, the dust that seems to get everywhere and the overwhelming exhaustion I feel when it’s all over, the Glengarry Highland Games will always bring me back home, no matter where I might be.
I hope to see you all next year.
FROM THE TOWER: Taylor Young, TheGlengarryNews summer student, pipes from the tower during the Friday night Tattoo.