Antigonish Highland Games to return this summer

ANTIGONISH: After a two year hiatus, the Antigonish Highland Games are returning to downtown Antigonish.

During a presentation on March 21 to senior staff at the town’s first in-person, mask less regular monthly council meeting since the pandemic started, the Antigonish Highland Society confirmed they would be returning for their 157th games with a full slate of events this summer.

Introducing their new operations manager, Daniel Cochrane, the society’s president Carol Anne MacKenzie, advised it’s been two long, difficult years, but highlighted 2020’s virtual games, along with last year’s highland heritage week.

Town Councillor Mary Farrell recalled she is the fourth-generation of her family to take part in the games, the first time she did was when she was 3-years-old.

Farrell said it’s emotional when she thinks back over the years, and she’s so happy to see it back.

“The Highland Games is Antigonish,” Mayor Laurie Boucher told reporters following the meeting. “And I can’t believe I miss the sound of bagpipes because we hear them so often, but it has been silent around here for the last two years as far as bagpipes.”

Boucher advised to see people coming in and celebrating heritage is a big part of what the town expects and they are looking forward to the summer.

“To have that presented tonight, and know that they will take place in July is exciting,” she said. “It does show a return to, what we’ll consider our new normal, or normalcy; you could just feel the vibe in council chambers tonight, everybody was so happy to hear the presentations.”