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Celebrating 19 Glorious Years in 2022

Gathering of the Scots Festival

Perth-Andover, NB, Canada

Celebrating 19 Glorious Years in 2022!!

“To those that came before us – Slainte” is an old Scottish toast. It is used to this day in the ancient hills of the Scotch Colony in Western New Brunswick.  Six simple words carefully composed, and dutifully passed down through the ages, paying tribute to those ancestors that left the glens of Scotland over a century ago in search of better lives for themselves and their families.  With glasses raised, the message is simple but passionate as a gentle reminder to never forget the hardships and perseverance of a small group of Scottish settlers that came to this part of our province so long ago.

Fast forward 150 years. . . and I think those determined Scottish settlers of 1873-1874 would be impressed! For almost 2 decades now, a dedicated group of volunteers have worked diligently to ensure their cultural heritage and traditions have not faded into oblivion.

Each year, as spring rejuvenates the upper Saint John River Valley, the people of Perth-Andover prepare to welcome hundreds of visitors from across Maritime Canada, Ontario, Quebec, and our US neighbors for a weekend of Celtic celebration.  The streets come alive with dozens of festival banners and decorations! Colorful kilted lads and lassies hit the streets and Veteran’s Field (located centrally in the village) is transformed into a site of celebration with dozens of kiosks, athletics, musicians, and workshops.  Festival weekend has finally arrived!

So, what’s so special about the Gathering?

Long before recorded history, the people of Scotland have held a strong passion of gathering. Often travelling great distances over hills and vales, coming together to celebrate community, family 

and culture!  The Gathering of the Scots Festival has echoed these long-lost celebrations and are now recognized as one of Atlantic Canada’s fastest growing cultural events.  Festival organizers work 

diligently throughout the year to bring new and innovative displays and activities to the Gathering for their visitors to enjoy!  

What to expect in 2022?

After two long years away from celebration, festival organizers are calling 2022 a reboot year for the festival.  “Starting over after 24 months of Covid shutdown is difficult,” says Festival Event Chair Rod MacIntosh.  “Many lines of communication have been lost and need mending.  This being said, we find all participants excited to get back to some form of normality in 2022.  We are excited to see the return of the Gathering!”

Come & Gather FOR FREE in 2022!

The gates will be thrown wide open at Veteran’s Field 2022! With unprecedented effort, festival organizers have decided to forgo all admission fees at the festival grounds this year.  But MacIntosh says it is not always about money and profit,  “After two brutal years away, we feel it’s the right time to open up the gates, welcome everyone back, and enjoy time missed together.”

The Elks Highlander’s Breakfast!

Saturday starts early at the Gathering on June 4th.  Take in our truly amazing Highlander’s Breakfast (7 am -10 am) – served just across the street from the festival grounds at the Perth Elks Lodge.  Fuel up for a busy day at the Gathering of the Scots – delicious home cooking and down-home hospitality for a very reasonable price! 

Tests of Strength!

Visit the Athletics Venue in 2022!  40 athletes will “strut their stuff” for top honors in 5 divisions of Competition.  The Amateur Class take the field at 9 AM shortly followed by the Open Pros and 

Master Class at 10 AM.  The, just before the official opening ceremonies, the Women will take the field at 11 AM along with the (under 200lb.) Lightweight Division.  Steeped in tradition and history, make sure to arrive early to cheer on your favorites!

A Ceilidh all day long!

New in 2022 will be our expanded Ceilidh Tent. Throughout the day, it will offer a full schedule of music and dance combined with wonderful food from the Tea Tent and local brewed beer from our very own 

Tobique River Trading.  Come to the Ceilidh and meet old friends again. As the day’s celebration fade, stay with us for a time into the evening. 

How about a workshop?

For those looking for a more hands on experience, register to attend one of the informative workshops offered on the grounds.  Whisky tasting sessions are always popular – or why not a short session on playing the highland bagpipes or drums?  And let’s not forget the always-popular highland dance workshop.

The Bearded Blacksmith!

With forge and anvil, local blacksmith David Green will be visiting the Gathering in 2022 offering visitors up-close demonstrations on his  amazing knife forging techniques.  While there, check out his 

selection of products.

Spey-Rod Fly-Casting

Along with the traditional fly-casting competitions offered in the past, festival visitors will see a new demonstration in 2022 of Scottish Spey-Rod Casting.  Although rarely used in North America, spey-rod 

casting (named after its origins along the Spey River in Scotland) is a much different two-handed roll casting version that requires a special rod and can greatly increase casting ranges.  Stop by and maybe step in for a cast or two.  It’s all free!

The Longbow, the Recurve or the Compound?

Back by popular demand in 2022, visitors will be treated with an opportunity to bend the bow under the guidance of certifiedinstructors in this traditional sport.  Hosted by Perth-Andover’s 

archery club (Twin Rivers Archery) certified instructors will educate and let you try your hands at the fantastic medieval sport! 

Just for kids!

The wee ones can enjoy a variety of events specifically offered in the children’s activity tent with scheduled themes.  To complete the Celtic theme, visit the Gathering’s Souvenir Tent and sign out (free of charge) a kilt for kids to wear all day long.

March with the Clan Parade!

Traditional, emotional and impressive!  The largest Clan parade in Atlantic Canada comes into the Gathering at noon on Saturday.  Want to get involved?  Contact us well in advance, and we will provide you with a banner printed with your family crest that you and other members of your clan can proudly carry during the opening ceremonyahead of the massed bands. This is an impressive event to watch from the sidelines, but so much more emotional to participate in.  It is an event you will never forget!

Massed Pipe Bands!

Pipes and Drums will be absolutely everywhere.  In 2022, organizers expect to lots of pipes and drums take the field throughout the day. A must see is the intimidating massed band parade at noon followed 

throughout the day by individual performances, and don’t miss the unique Piper’s Circle!

To Gather Again!

After two long years of uncertainty, the Gathering of the Scots will return again to Veteran’s Field in Perth-Andover.  A full day of celebration.  Immerse yourself in the small-town experience of celebration.  We would really love to see you again.

For more information on this year’s Gathering of the Scots Festival, simply access the festival website at www.gatheringofthescots.com, follow us on Facebook, Twitter (@GatheringScots), Instagram (Gathering_of_the_Scots), or call Rod MacIntosh (273-6710).

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