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Embracing the Municipality of Kincardine's Scottish History

The Municipality of Kincardine is proud of our rich history deeply rooted in its Scottish heritage. The highland's influence is evident in our culture, architecture, community spirit, and annual celebrations.

Phantom Piper

One of the most enduring legends of Kincardine's Scottish heritage is the tale of the Phantom Piper.

According to local folklore, the ghostly spirit of a Scottish bagpiper roams our streets, merrily “haunting” the town with his melodies. Some believe the Phantom Piper to be the spirit of a young soldier who perished in battle, while others attribute his presence to the town's deep connection to its Scottish roots.

Regardless of its origins, the legend of the Phantom Piper continues to enchant residents and visitors alike, adding an air of mystery and intrigue to our historic streets.

You can catch the enchanting magic, the mystery, and the melody of the Phantom Piper every evening except for Saturdays at the historic Kincardine Lighthouse from July 1st to August 30th, 2024. Don’t forget your lawn chair!  

The Phantom Piper playing at sunset over Lake Huron.
A drummer marches and plays a bass drum that reads "Kincardine Scottish Pipe Band."

The Kincardine Scottish Pipe Band Saturday Night Parade

In addition to our folklore, each Saturday evening, from June 22nd until August 31st, 2024, residents and visitors alike, line Queen Street to hear the Kincardine Scottish Pipe Band take the street.

The band had their first practice at a barbershop in 1908 and is believed to be the oldest street pipe band with unbroken service in Ontario. With over a century of skill, and a large band, the Kincardine Scottish Pipe Band is known to put on quite the show!

Kincardine Scottish Festival & Highland Games

We proudly celebrate our Scottish heritage through the annual Kincardine Scottish Festival & Highland Games, too! Held every summer, this exciting event attracts thousands of visitors, eager to immerse themselves in culture and tradition.

An athlete competes at the Kincardine Scottish Festival and Highland Games.

The festival aims to preserve, enhance, and celebrate Kincardine’s Scottish roots with three days and nights of lively music, exciting competitions, cultural workshops, and friendly, small-town hospitality.

Cheer on your favourite Highland athletes, trace out your ancestry, and enjoy the sights and sounds of over 30 Scottish pipe bands from across Canada and the United States. From trying a few different single malt Scotch Whiskies, to developing a taste for haggis, there’s always a reason to raise a glass!

This year we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Kincardine Scottish Festival and Highland Games! We're proud to have welcomed tens of thousands of visitors from all over North America over two and a half decades, and look forward to welcoming those joining us in celebrating all things Scottish in 2024.

Gathering of the Bands

Predictably, the Gathering of the Bands annual event is marked as a favourite among both locals and visitors.

Spend your afternoon listening to live music in Victoria Park, enjoy the family-friendly activities.

The evening commences with a mass pipes and drum band parade, and festivities continue into the night. Admission to this event is free. Food vendors and beer gardens are on site.

A massed pipe band marches.

The pipes, and our community, are calling...

Aside from festivals and folklore, Kincardine's Scottish heritage is evident in its architecture, with many historic buildings featuring Scottish-inspired designs and motifs. Our bustling downtown, with its quaint shops, cozy cafes, and welcoming pubs, exudes a sense of old-world charm.

As Kincardine continues to evolve and grow, its Scottish heritage remains an integral part of our identity, shaping our traditions, and welcoming community. Whether you're drawn to ghostly legends, lively festivals and traditions, or picturesque streetscapes, the Municipality of Kincardine invites you to experience the timeless allure of our Scottish heritage firsthand.

Contact Us

Welcome Centre
707 Queen Street in the Kincardine Centre for the Arts 
Kincardine, ON, N2Z 1Z9
Phone: 519-396-2731

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