Picture it… a hill full of people, young and old, on benches and on blankets tapping their feet to the lively Cape Breton fiddle tunes being played on the stage below.
This scene is one witnessed every year at the Highland Village Day concert at the Highland Village Museum in Iona. With the beautiful Bras d’Or Lakes as its backdrop, and the abundance of local talent, Highland Village Day is a highlight of the summer, taking place on the first Saturday of August for five decades.
Saturday, August 2nd, 2014 marks the 53rd annual Highland Village Day Concert, one of Cape Breton Island’s original Outdoor Scottish Concerts. Fiddlers, step-dancers, pipers, and more, come together to treat visitors to traditional Nova Scotia Gaelic culture in this outdoor concert overlooking the beautiful Bras d’Or Lakes.
August 4th, 1962 was a milestone in the Highland Village’s history. This day saw years of hard work recognized with the official opening of the museum. To mark the occasion an outdoor Scottish concert was held on site featuring traditional music, song and dance. This festival, called Highland Village Day, was a great success. It brought together people of all ages to celebrate and preserve the Scottish Gaelic culture in Nova Scotia. Since that first Saturday in ’62 Highland Village Day has been an annual event. The first Highland Village Day saw dance competitions, fiddle players, Gaelic singers, step dancers and the Gaelic College Pipe Band take the stage.
Today Highland Village Day continues to be a favourite summer event showcasing the traditional music, song and dance of Gaelic Nova Scotia much the same way it did back in 1962. The stage at the Highland Village has played host to many talented performers. In recent years acts such as Great Big Sea, the Barra MacNeils, J.P. Cormier, Slainte Math, Carl MacKenzie, the Cottars, and many more have entertained the crowd on the hill.
So don’t miss it! This year’s Highland Village Day concert takes place from 2-6 pm and admission is $15 per person, children 12 and under free. While you are there, make sure to visit the 11 period buildings and wander over our grounds of the Highland Village Museum and immerse yourself in our Gaelic History.