FERGUS SCOTTISH FESTIVAL: It’s like Scotland – without the air fare

Where can someone get modern and traditional Celtic music, watch men toss cabers, hear the cry of bagpipes, see dancers per­form routines once banned by England, mingle with artisans, listen to best-selling authors, and research a family history?

It is all at the Fergus Scot­tish Festival and Highland Games this weekend, one of North America’s largest and celebrations of Scottish culture. 

Fergus is expected to attract about 30,000 visitors. What started in 1946 as a way to celebrate its Scottish roots grew into a three-day event.

There is something for everyone in music this year – from the Celtic punk rock of The Mudmen to the Juno-award winning Canadian powerhouse Leahy. Catch a rare glimpse of Forged in Fire, a new play based on the life of Scottish patriot William Wall­ace, marvel at one of the largest military tattoos assembled on the continent, and meet Diana Gabaldon, author of the best-selling Outlander novels.

There is the food (in­cluding haggis), children’s games, the Heavy Events, historical lectures, sword fights, pipe bands, scotch experts, kilt-making lessons, sheep shearing, pubs, and the Avenue of the Clans.

Downtown Fergus will be packed, too, with historical walking tours, medieval re-enactments , jam sessions and a chance to meet the brothers who helped create the new Hockey Night in Canada theme.