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PHOTOS: 160th Victoria Highland Games bring Celtic tradition to Topaz Park

The games got underway Saturday and are set to continue Sunday

Topaz Park was alive with the sounds of pipes and drums once again as the Victoria Highland Games and Celtic Festival brought the spectacle of sport and music to town for the 160th year.

The first of two days for the event offered up pro and amateur heavy events in both men’s and women’s categories, massed bands, solo piping and drumming competition, and highland dance competitions.

Visitors not taking in the competition had plenty to keep them busy too, with a wide selection of food trucks, cultural booths, vendors, and even whisky and wine tasting schools.

It’s no wonder Victoria Highland Games Association president Jim Maxwell was all smiles during a brief pause between his organizing duties.

“It’s going great. Big crowds, the weather is fabulous, and we have world-class entertainment,” said Maxwell. “I think people are looking for something to do, and the weather just brings them here to Topaz Park.”

Maxwell said organizers were hoping as always for a larger turnout than the previous edition – which was the first full-scale event since the pandemic was declared – and he said if Saturday is anything to go by, they have achieved that goal.

Among the highlights visitors can look forward to this year, Maxwell said performances all weekend by the United States Marine Corps 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing Band from San Diego, Calif. is well worth catching during Saturday’s sunset ceremony starting at 7 p.m., and during their performance from 4:30 to 4:50 p.m. Sunday.

“They are world-class. I heard them practicing yesterday and they are just over the top.”

The games run until 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, and from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Kids under 12 get in free, while youth 13 to 18 tickets are $15, adults $20, and seniors over 65 $15.

READ MORE: Highland Games bring spectacles of sport and music to Victoria


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Justin Samanski-Langille

About the Author: Justin Samanski-Langille

I moved coast-to-coast to discover and share the stories of the West Shore, joining Black Press in 2021 after four years as a reporter in New Brunswick.
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