After a flurry of social media posts, Scots came out in great numbers to Toronto's second annual Sir John A's Great Canadian Kilt Skate.
Outdoor kilt skates are always vulnerable to the weather, and on the Saturday on which the skate was originally scheduled, the rain poured on Nathan Phillips Square.
Mind you, that didn't stop some Torontonians from trying out their skates, but I'm glad the City asked us to move our event to Sunday.
The rain stopped. The City continued to maintain the ice.
And when Sunday morning dawned sunny and with a forecast high of 4 degrees, Chris Maskell, the Scottish Government's representative in Canada, and Richard Knight, Tourism Scotland's representative, packed the swag...
and walked down the street to Nathan Phillips Square.
Kimberley Henwood, Karen McCrimmon and the team of volunteers from the Clans and Scottish Societies Association of Canada were there at the Queen and Bay street corner, ready to set up.
The canopy was erected and the bunting strung.
Terry Myles from Clan McNeil was one of the first to lace up the skates and head out onto the ice.
The folks from the British High Commission laced up too.
Chris Maskell has been getting lots of practice skating. This is, after all, the fourth time he's been out on the ice for a Sir John A's kilt skate in the two years he and the Scottish Government have been supporting the event.
Just as everyone is Irish on St. Patrick's Day, everyone is Scottish on Kilt Skate Day.
There were certainly a lot of kilts...and skates...
It was a busy day at Nathan Phillips Square.
When it came time for the zamboni to clear the ice, folks had a chance to enjoy the skirl of the pipes...
...and do a little schmoozing. Here's Tourism Scotland's Richard Knight talking to Arthur Potts, MPP for Beaches-East York.
Soon after, the skaters and those on the side of the rink were called together for the opening ceremonies
In keeping with Scotland's "Year of Young People," young Rowan Gladish was asked to serve as Master of Ceremonies.
CASSOC's Karen McCrimmon brought greetings from Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
Chris Maskell talked about how there was never a better time to take a trip to Scotland.
Councillor Jim Karygannis brought greetings from the City of Toronto.
Arthur Potts, MPP, spoke on behalf of the Province of Ontario, reminding us of how many of our political leaders had connections to Scotland. Not just Sir John A. Macdonald -- our first Prime Minister -- but also John S. Macdonald, Ontario's first Premier. And many others besides.
The Skater-in-Chief led the Kilt Skate Cheer.
And then it was time to cut the ribbon...
...and the cake.
Everyone wanted cake and hot chocolate!
Things got really busy.
After refreshments, it was time to take to the ice again.
Some stayed behind for media interviews. The local CBC television station talked to skaters and organizers.
While the pipers played on.
The pipers were joined by Highland dancers.
Meanwhile, more and more people showed up in their kilts and tartans.
Even the bagpiper put down the pipes for a turn on the ice.
Some of those who dared expose their knees to the elements considered it important, at the same time, to protect their heads.
There were even kilts for the Roman Catholic clergy.
But when it comes to celebrating Scotland's "Year of Young People," here's the young lady that is going to be in a lot of our media.
It was a time for people to take pictures.
We estimate there were 100 kilt skaters and another 100 in kilts and tartans watching from the sidelines.
Then it was time to tear down.
We repaired to the Duke of Richmond where we could raise a glass to congratulate Kimberley Henwood and Karen McCrimmon on a job well done.
Then it was time to pack the suitcase, furl the flag, and head back to the train station for the journey back to Ottawa.