The Festival of Tartans began as “The Braemar” in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. It was introduced as a way to enable all sports enthusiasts to prepare themselves for other sports competitions throughout the province. It began as a small event with less than 100 participants enjoying the sports events, but this small and humble beginning was soon to be reborn into an event that people from all over the world have come to enjoy.
It was then decided to hold a much larger annual event that would include such entertainment as piping, drumming, and dancing. A.J. Gorman was selected as over all chairman and committees were set up to plan the various events. Locations were decided on for the different festivities; participants from other areas were invited to attend; local merchants were approached for their support; provincial leaders and leaders from Scotland were asked to attend and local community service groups were asked to participate in the planning. A major Scottish Festival was established and destined to be an important part of the culture of Nova Scotia for many years to come.
The Festival needed a new name to match its make over. A contest was held asking citizens of Pictou County to pick a name that would be suitable. A woman from River John won a radio contest when she came up with the name “The Festival of the Tartans.”
The Festival of Tartans has been growing substantially, and after five decades of success, it is as strong as ever! This celebration owes its success to the devoted community effort of New Glasgow and Pictou County.
Whether you are a native of Nova Scotia or a visitor from afar, you are sure to appreciate the different Scottish festivities that we have in store for you each year. Our program is growing in activities that people can enjoy regardless of ancestral background. This Scottish celebration now includes festivities such as a Kilted Golf Tournament, a Garden Party at Glen Haven Manor, a vintage car show in downtown New Glasgow, and an outdoor Fiddle concert in Rotary Park. Enjoy the Highland Dancing competition, the pipes and drums and marvel at the strong guys performing the heavy events, including tossing the caber.
Be a part of this Scottish tradition and feel the spirit of Scotland come alive in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia. Watch the gracefulness of the Highland dancers; listen to the skirl of the pipes and "Come One, Come All, Come Ceilidh With Us!"