The distinctive sound of bagpipes could be heard in the breeze Saturday and Sunday as the 159th annual Victoria Highland Games returned to Topaz Park.
For the past two pandemic years, the event, which has been drastically reduced in size, has taken place at Craigflower Manor at View Royal. The fine weather helped the festival see record numbers of participants on Saturday, according to Jim Maxwell, president of the Victoria Highland Games Association. Usually, the festival attracts between 25,000 and 35,000 people.
“When I started it was a very small one day event and due to public interest and various plans for bands, pipers (and so on) we decided to expand it and make it a world-class event,” he said. mentioned. “Over the past 20 years, we’ve made it one of the smallest, best quality games in the world.”
Topaz Park is under construction, which has slightly compressed the layout of the festival. But Maxwell said their “little hill and valley” has enhanced the experience for attendants, though it hasn’t been without its challenges.
“The big issue is the sound conflicts, but we think we’ve spaced out the pipes for heavy events, dancers and it seems to be working well.”
The event included heavyweight events – like caber throwing and hammer throwing – as well as bagpipes, Highland dancing, as well as sunset performances by the University of Washington Huskies Marching Band. Saturday and a closing performance by the Strathcona Mounted Troop performance on Sunday.
Events continue at Topaz Park until 7 p.m. on Sunday.
City of VictoriaDistrict of SaanichWest Shore