By Bobinec, Greg on February 3, 2020.
The City of Lethbridge, in partnership with The Scottish Society of Ottawa, welcomed the Scottish community and others to the second annual Kilt Skates on Saturday afternoon.
Starting in Ottawa in 2015, the annual Kilt Skate was a way to combine Scottish and Canadian culture to make an inclusive event for their community. A few years later, the Kilt Skate is now in 13 different cities, including Lethbridge as they celebrate their large Scottish community.
“Today we are having Lethbridge’s second annual Kilt Skate Day, which is essentially one of our public skates but we have themed it around Scottish culture,” says Lori Harasem, recreation and culture development officer with City of Lethbridge.
“We have bagpipers here and we encourage people who have kilts to come on out and wear their kilt and we are doing this here today and it is also happening in Boston and New York City.”
Throughout the event at the ATB Centre, bagpipers from Bridge City Highlanders played through the afternoon as families skated in their kilts. Organizers of the event say the first run of Kilt Skate last year was successful, as many people grew curious about the event.
“People love it, there is a lot of Scottish people here that are excited about anything Scottish, and this is their time of year,” says Harasem. “We get a very good response from people in kilts and we get a few people who are curious to come and see bagpipers at the arena.”
The mixture of physical activity and culture was something that caught the attention of Harasem when finding new community events. She says it is a unique experience for people to take in as the music plays, the kilts hit the ice, and even some of the bagpipers and drummers take the music to the ice.
“For me it is so fun to mix the culture with the physical activity, because we are always encouraging people to get physically active and we always have the free public skates, but now to mix it with some culture and have the bagpipers and drummers out, and some of them will play on the ice in skates, it is just a fantastic and fun way for the community to get together,” says Harasem.
Lethbridge has a strong Scottish community as shown by the support of the recent Robbie Burns Day events. The Kilt Skate is a good chance for the whole community to celebrate diversity and experience a taste of Scottish culture, while getting some physical activity.
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