Skip to content

Celtic culture wows crowd in festival's return

Highland Games

CROSSMOUNT — More than a thousand spectators from nearby Saskatoon and the town of Aberdeen enjoyed Sunday’s warm weather and watched 10 athletes, including one female and a couple of kids, test each other’s strength in the Highland Games. The Highland Games date back to 11th-century Scotland, but the modern events were developed in the 19th century, most of which are still played today.

The stone put, the Scottish hammer throw, weight throw, weight over the bar, sheaf toss, and the caber toss were the events offered as each athlete, cheered on by hundreds of enthusiastic and supportive crowds, used different techniques in tossing the other items — stones, metal ball and weights, a bundle of straw, and a large tapered pole — the farthest distance. 

The results of the games, which are somewhat like the World’s Strongest Man, were not available at press time. Karl Hren helped organized the Highland Games that test one’s physical abilities with the different throwing events. 

The Highland Games was part of this year’s Saskatoon Celtic Festival, where the crowd was entertained by traditional songs like Saskatoon’s four-person band, The Residuals, and dances, Irish stepdance, celebrating Celtic culture. Different pipe and drum groups, like the youth band 96th Highlanders Pipes & Drums Saskatoon, also provided music. 

The band was not originally composed of youth from nine to 21 years old as its origin is traced back to the 96th Canadian Infantry Battalion of Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, formed in 1915, that fought in the First World War. 

This was the first Saskatoon Celtic Festival since 2019, where they held it every September long weekend. They called it the Highland Games in 2015 but renamed it to promote and showcase Celtic culture and nations composed of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, the Isle of Man and Brittany. 

push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks