DELAFIELD, Wis. - The Highland Games were almost canceled for a second year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but some passionate bagpipe players were not going to let that happen.
"It’s a fun event. Just very sad it had to be canceled," said director Connie Young said.
The Highland Games usually feature a variety of events each year: heavy athletics, dance, bagpipes and archery among them.
While the pandemic canceled the games in 2020, vendors backing out nearly brought an end to the 2021 games. But a group of bagpipers, drummers, and even some dancers were determined to still show up and compete, so the Highland Games partnered with St. John's Northwestern Military Academy to give the musicians a venue.
"Pipers and bands were really wanting to come and have a chance to compete and see our friends again and kind of get back to our sense of normalcy," said Dave Bruning, pipes and drums chair for Wisconsin Scottish/Highland Games.
Bagpipers compete at Highland Games in Delafield.
Although on a smaller scale, the Highland Games staff was still happy to see pipers piping, drummers drumming and judges judging the competition.
"It's just so nice to hear the pipes again. There’s hundreds or thousands of hours collectively that these people have put in to get ready for this contest so just to be able to offer that to them really means a lot to us," said Bruning.