Wednesday, 24 July 2013

On the Road Pt. 4... Antigonish Highland Games


Antigonish, (pronounced Aunti go nish) is in Nova Scotia, which means New Scotland.  It is the longest running Highland Game in Canada, one of the oldest in North America and one of the biggest outside of Scotland.  This year it was celebrating its 150th year.

We set up in the rain and worried that the whole weekend would be washed out but we were told that in the Maritimes the weather changes every hour and people will come out despite the rain …. Because in the Maritimes, they “are not sugar cubes”.   Fortunately we were only able to test the first of these comments because by the start of the games, the sun was shining and it continued to shine until well after we packed up.

The Antigonish Highland Games brought in visitors from all around the world.  We met people from all over Canada, the United States, Germany, Norway, the Netherlands, and other places too numerous to mention.  They were there to hear the pipes and bands, see the dancing, cheer on the participants in the Heavy events, the tug of war, and the team pulls, which look like a tug of war but have very different strategies.  (It is rumoured that they practise by hoisting a barrel of cement over the rafters in a barn and keep it there sometimes for 2 – 3 hours).  Everyone was a winner because everyone had fun and challenged their teammates and themselves.

Ruach Crafts was a vendor for the first time at the Antigonish Games.  We were reminded of the time 5 years ago when we were the “new kids on the block” at the Ontario/Quebec games and just as happened there, the neighbours welcomed us and helped us to make the most of the weekend.  Our thanks especially to Carol and Kevin at MacLeod Highland Outfitters in Moncton, New Brunswick for their assistance.

Most notably while we were at the games was the mention on 98.9 FM and the discussions with a fabulous North American magazine called Celtic Life.  (If you are at the Cambridge or Highlands of Durham games, ask us for your complimentary copy).  We began many people, young and old, on what we hope will be a lifelong love of stitching. And, made many new friends who were already stitchers and excited about our unique kits and patterns.

Help us to help you put the spirit in your stitching!

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