FERGUS – The Fergus Scottish Festival and Highland Games has been cancelled for the second year in a row due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“With careful consideration, we have acknowledged that a live event like our festival with crowds in the thousands is unrealistic in the current and unprecedented pandemic situation,” festival officials announced in a Feb. 5 press release.
“Our priority continues to be the ongoing recovery efforts and ensuring that our guests, volunteers, competitors, performers, clans, sponsors, and community are safe and healthy so they can enjoy ‘Scotland without the Airfare’ well into the future.”
As it did last year, the festival will move online for a virtual event.
“In 2020 we were devastated that our event was cancelled and our 75th anniversary postponed, but we were thrilled to create and present a virtual event, the successful Wee Digital Ceilidh, as well as community engagement activities to ‘Paint the Town Tartan’ in its place,” official stated.
“Virtual attendance matched in person numbers and feedback was overwhelmingly positive.”
Officials say hosting the Wee Digital Ceilidh taught them “we can adapt in uncertain times and do what we do best – host a world class Scottish Festival and Highland Games, regardless of the format.”
So they’re confident moving forward with another virtual event this year and are encouraging everyone to save the dates Aug. 13 to 15 for the second-ever virtual Scottish Festival and Highland Games.
“Should pandemic restrictions allow, we will explore opportunities to add modified live components,” officials say.
Billed as “the 75th Anniversary 2.021,” the virtual event will include the festival’s “four pillars” – heavy events, highland dance, clans and heritage, and pipes and drums – as well as other features and festival favourites from past years.
Festival officials say they are “grateful for the steadfast support we received last year and heading into our next, albeit different, festival season.
“We look forward to sharing our best with you in 2021.”
Moving forward, the festival will post updates on its website and social media channels.