15th Kincardine Scottish Festival and Highland Games. July 5, 2014. Photo by Ken Kilpatrick.15th Kincardine Scottish Festival and Highland Games. July 5, 2014. Photo by Ken Kilpatrick.

Kincardine Scottish Festival deemed a success

The director of marketing for the Kincardine Scottish Festival and Highland Games was pleasantly surprised with attendance this year.

Kristine McMahon said they had an amazing number of people to come out and enjoy the events, despite a large fire that delayed the festivities Saturday morning.

"We had amazing numbers all weekend long and when the parade was cancelled Robinson Park saw some record numbers for the Heavy events until the park was opened," she added.

Organizers were told to lock-down the festival site at about 7:15 a.m. Saturday due to a nearby fire, and they got the green light to open at 11:30 a.m.

McMahon felt the variety of entertainment, and the relocation of the piping circle to the front stage were both a big success. She added they also loved having the highland dance as a performance on the main stage.

"Depending on feasibility in future for bringing back the dance competition, we would love to continue to have the performance on the main stage as well," McMahon added. "The Gutherie School of Dance did an amazing job showcasing Highland Dance to our audience and told stories which brought the history of its connection to Scottish traditions to light."

McMahon also felt that a bigger emphasis to Family Day on Sunday was successful in offering more for the kids.

However, the festival had to cancel the parade due to the blaze.

"We tried to give the public as much notice as possible on all our social channels and website, as well as directly answering phone calls throughout all the hustle and bustle," said President Tony Doherty. "We continued to provide updates throughout the morning so that our patrons would know the status as soon as we did, and as directed by Emergency Services. The health and safety of our patrons was paramount."

"We are so proud of our local Emergency Services and how they reacted to this tragic event," Doherty added. "They worked so hard to minimize the damage and get the fire out, as well as being empathetic to our festival and keeping us updated as they progressed and worked with us to get the park open for the festival as soon as was safe to do so. Kudos to our local Emergency Services. Job well done!"

"Although there was obvious concern for the businesses and residents affected by the tragic fire, we have had an enormous amount of positive feedback about the music and how the team of volunteers worked so hard to provide a great time throughout the festival weekend and making sure that the health and safety of everyone was paramount," concluded McMahon.

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