Highland dancers will once again perform at the annual Manitoba Highland Gathering in East Selkirk June 24 to 25. (Photo Submitted)
One of Manitoba’s top ten rural festivals is returning June 24 and 25 to continue the tradition of preserving, promoting, nurturing, sharing and educating locals about the colourful Scottish culture, heritage, arts, sports and agriculture.
The non-profit organization, which has been awarded a spot in the Top 100 Events in North America by the American Bus Association, is run exclusively by volunteers who put on an R.M. of St. Clements designated family fun filled outdoor event. One of the many hard-working volunteers is local attendee Joyce Neyedly, who believes that this family event has something for everyone.
“A Highland Gathering is a meeting of Scotts and people who love anything Scottish,” said Neyedly. “At this Highland Gathering, every one of us volunteers are important and we work really hard.”
The event will be taking place at the Legacy Park in East Selkirk, off of Highway 59. There will be a free shuttle travelling to and from the event, courtesy of Selkirk Chrysler.
Several clans have notified organizers of their attendance for the 2017 event thus far. Clan Mackenzie, Clan Mackay of Selkirk, Clan Brodie of the Americas, The Manitoba Genealogical Society, as well as the Gaelic Info Booth.
“The MGS help people to trace back their Scottish routes, which guests really seem to love,” added Neyedly.
The Queens own Cameron Highlanders will also be in attendance with an interactive display, giving guests a chance to dress up in fatigues.
There will also be numerous tables of genuine Scottish merchandise available for purchase.
The event is a jam-packed day with activities happening almost every hour. Gates open at 8:30 a.m. with a pancake breakfast being served at 9 a.m. Various shows and activities include the Highland Dance Competition, a petting farm, heavy games, sheep sheering and stock dog demos, an all British car show & shine as well as Wee Willie’s Pub serving Scottish foods and live multicultural entertainment throughout the afternoon. Another big event for the day is the 26th Annual Manitoba Canoe & Kayak Marathon Championship.
“Our Indigenous, Metis and Red River Settlers used the river for transportation in the past, so we wanted to do an activity on the waterways to honour our local history,” added Neyedly.
Tickets are available online at wwww.manitobahighlandgathering.org or by visiting one of the many local businesses sponsoring the event, such as One Insurance in Selkirk, Rennie’s Full Service in East Selkirk, Lockport Grocery and many more. Visitors are advised to bring a lawn chair and to prepare for any weather, as the Highland Gathering will go on, rain or shine. For further information, contact Joyce Neyedly at firstname.lastname@example.org or via phone at 204-794-6587.