Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, has the distinction of being the most northerly kilt skate. This year, so far, it also has the distinction of being the coldest.
Following a mid-winter snowfall, the morning of Saturday, January 27, dawned sunny and cold.
By 1 p.m., the temperature had managed to crawl its way up to a balmy minus-19. But cold weather doesn't keep prairie people indoors. Some thirty hearty skaters laced up at the Cameco Meewasin Skating Rink for the fourth annual Sir John A's Great Canadian Kilt Skate.
Rachelle Lockwood is a proud member of the Saskatoon Highland Dancing Association. She's been organizing these kilt skates since 2016. That's Rachelle in the toque, along with the other organizer Tannis. As a team, they've been organizing kilt skates in Saskatoon since the time when Saskatoon was declared the Kilt Skate Capital of Canada.
Even with lower numbers from previous years, Saskatoon will likely take the prize for the "youngest" kilt skate. Probably the cutest too!
And this being Scotland's "Year of Young People," it's good to know that there's a new generation of Highland dancers coming up through the ranks in Saskatoon -- and they're getting an early taste of... kilt skating!
And, of course, enjoying a cookie and some hot chocolate.
For many, it was an opportunity for a first lesson on how to skate..
Here's a shout out to the Highland dance moms who get the young ones out to the kilt skate each year.
And a shout out to Pipe Major Sandy Campbell of the North Saskatchewan Regiment Pipes and Drums.
Each year since 2015, often in the prairie chill, he's been out on the Cameco Meewasin ice, leading the skaters with music. It's hard to get bagpipes to function properly in extreme cold. Pipe Major Campbell knows how to tease the sweet sounds in any weather.