Last week, Ottawa hosted the Grey Cup Festival -- a national celebration of the unique game that is Canadian football. It's a time for fans from across the country to come together, and this year, when the championship was held in Ottawa, there was a strong Scottish flavour.
The Sons of Scotland Pipe Band staged a flash mob on the steps of the TD Place football stadium.
The crowd loved it!
Inside at the Aberdeen Pavilion -- where in another five weeks the Scottish Society of Ottawa will be hosting its 6th annual Hogman-eh! celebration -- crowds had gathered for the regular entertainment program.
Thursday night featured a program of Celtic entertainment organized by the SSO. There were Highland dancers.
There were Irish dancers.
There were Scottish country dancers.
All part of a week of programming that also featured rock bands and cheerleading squads.
During the days leading up to the game, the SSO also maintained an information booth in the Family Fun Zone at Lansdowne Park.
The area is actually the space that becomes the Lansdowne Skating Park in the winter -- but during the Grey Cup Festival it was a time for other kinds of fun and merriment, including drum lessons.
And kids had a chance to celebrate Scottish heritage.
Our presence at the Family Fun Zone gave us an excellent opportunity to promote Hogman-eh! It's a great New Year's Eve party for kids, because we celebrate a New Year's countdown twice -- once at midnight in Ottawa, but also at 7 p.m. which is midnight in Scotland. That gives families a chance to have hogmanay fun before packing the kids home to bed.
But the purpose of the Grey Cup Festival, after all, is to celebrate Canadian football. When the morning of the Grey Cup dawned with sunny skies and cold temperatures, we didn't expect that, just before kickoff time, the snow would come.
But what the heck! We're a people who go skating in our kilts. A little bit of snow isn't going to get in the way of a good football game!