File Photo The Alma Highland Festival takes place every May, but the second annual “Robert Burns Night” on Saturday January 20 at Alma College will provide a preview of sorts for the event.
The 54th annual Highland Festival and Games kicked off Friday night and will continue with a full slate of Scottish-themed activities Saturday and Sunday.
For the second year in a row, the event will be held in the premises of Alma High School.
One-day tickets can be purchased at the door for $15. The cost for senior citizens, veterans and EMS is $12. Children 5 and under enter for free.
Activities start bright and early on Saturday with mountain dancing and solo playing and drumming competitions starting at 8am
The arts and crafts fair will open at 9am and run until 6pm along with an 18th century re-enactment camp.
The Great Lakes Scottish Heavyweight Men’s and Women’s Professional Athletics Tournament will begin at 10:30am
The grand parade also starts at 10:30 am
The opening ceremony will take place at 12:15 pm on the football field, starting with the Tartan Parade, followed by a mass band performance.
The band competition starts at 12:30 p.m., and children’s games from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and another mass band performance at 5 p.m.
The entertainment test starts at noon and will include performances by Colin Grant-Adams at 1.30pm, Chelsea House Orchestra at 3pm and 6pm and Mother Grove at 4.30pm.
From 7 to 11 p.m., there is a $5 cover charge for admission to Tallon Weatherby’s 8 p.m. performance.
Sunday’s activities begin at 8 a.m. with solo and drum competitions, with mountain dancing and men’s amateur athletic events at 9 a.m., and the Kirking of the Tartan, a Scottish religious ceremony, at 10 a.m. at Alma First Presbyterian Church, 495 Charles Ave.
The fun tent will be open from noon to 6pm with performances by Colin Grant-Adams at 12.30pm, Chelsea House Orchestra at 2pm and Mother Grove at 3.30pm.
The US Open Pipe Band competition begins at 1 p.m. with a closing ceremony, with awards and big band performances around 5 p.m.
Scottish clan activities and border collie shows will be held at various times throughout both days of the festival. Various food vendors will be on site on Saturday and Sunday.
For more details and a full schedule of events, check the Highland Festival website or Facebook page.