85th Embro Highland Games – Monday, July 1, 2024!

Hello Everyone, please see this guest post from the Zorra Caledonian Society:

85th Embro Highland Games – Monday, July 1, 2024

The Zorra Caledonian Society is putting the finishing touches on the 85th Embro Highland Games (EHG), taking place Monday, July 1, 2024, at the Embro Zorra Community Centre (EZCC) 355644 35th Line, Zorra. Gates open at 7 am and there is a full line-up of family-friendly activities that will appeal to visitors of all ages.

There are over 200 entries in the individual piping and drumming competitions which begin at 8:30 am with the ever- popular Massed Bands taking the Main Field at 12:30 pm and at 4:30 pm. For the first-time in decades, Grade 2 Pipe Bands have been invited to compete in Embro, travelling from further afield and performing with a higher degree of difficulty. For guests wanting to take in some true Scottish culture the Highland Dance competition begins at 9 am and runs all day with over 100 dancers registered to compete. In keeping with the theme, a wide variety of Scottish vendors on site offer Scottish jewelry, food, tartan clothing, and Celtic arts & crafts and more.

Back again in Embro is the popular Tug-of-War competition and four teams have registered; Ellice (near Stratford), Bluewater (Dashwood), an army team from London, ON and Mount Vernon from Wisconsin, USA. Heavy Events (with the popular caber toss) featuring male and female athletes from across the province vying for top honours, starts at 10:30 am. For those animal enthusiasts, the Scottish livestock area will be open all day with breeds of cattle, horses and sheep that would have all originated in Scotland. Scottish Dogs on Parade, always a favourite show for visitors, will “strut the ring with their humans” at 11 am. There will also be two Dog Agility shows and three Sheep Herdingdemonstrations.

Returning to Embro are two local craft breweries; Upper Thames Brewing Co. (Woodstock) and Junction 56 Distillery (Stratford). The Paddy Stones will open for the Steel City Rovers, and both groups will perform three sets for some rousing live Celtic music in the Muckle Tent. A NEW whisky barrel rolling demonstration will take place on the main field after the pipe bands have marched off at the midway point in the day. For those wanting a slower pace, the Scottish Tea Room will be open from noon to 4 pm, hosted by the Knox Presbyterian Church, with the volunteers serving a selection of teas and traditional delicious delights to enjoy in the arena lobby.

Inside the Great Hall (complete with air-conditioning) the following events will take place. From 10 am to 3 pm, the children’s Scottish Crafts will engage and entertain the wee visitors as they embrace and create with Scottish culture in mind! At 1:15 pm we will have entertainment showcasing Taiwanese Culture which ties in with the Zorra-Taiwan connection and our shared “son” Rev. Dr. George Leslie Mackay. NEW this year we are offering Whisky Tasting with David Prosser from 3-4:30 pm. There are limited spots available to taste four “top shelf” whiskies with advance tickets sold online for $ 50/each.

The Oxford Weavers & Spinners Guild and the Visitors’ Information area, selling 85th Embro Highland Games merchandise, will be set up all day outdoors in the new Embro Zorra Community Centre Pavilion. Six Scottish clans will participate at the Games this year rounding out a full day of family fun with a Scottish flair! Open all day are exhibits in the Great Hall which include the Taiwanese legacy of George Leslie Mackay, Tartans on Display, the Mighty Men of Zorra, 85 years of the Embro Highland Games and Zorra Heritage.

Four professional one-minute videos were created at the 2023 Embro Highland Games and are available to watch online at www.embrohighlandgames.ca. On the website, you can also purchase advance tickets for adults which are discounted by 10%! Admission at the Gate is $30 for adults, $ 10 for youth (ages 13-17) with children 12 and under admitted at no charge. Guests are welcome to bring a lawn chair and parking is complimentary.

The Zorra Caledonian Society is a non-profit community organization formed in 1937 that celebrates and promotes the Scottish heritage of Embro-Zorra. Their signature event, the Embro Highland Games, brings thousands of visitors to Oxford County and is the oldest Highland Games in Ontario. The Embro Highland Games truly exemplifies an entire community coming together for the celebration of all things Scottish! Follow us on Facebook, Snapchat & Instagram.

For more information contact President – Geoff Innes @ 519-537-1202, Vice President – Steve MacDonald 519-475- 4219 or Social Media & Website Coordinator – Holly MacDonald at info@embrohighlandgames.ca

Please feel free to share this poster: 85th Embro Highland Games

If you have an event, pictures and articles concerning the history of Oxford County that you would like published on the Society’s blog please email us at info@oxhs.ca