As you MAY or may not know, the World Pipe Band Championships is just around the corner on Saturday 13 August. Affectionately known as “The Worlds”, the event has been operating regularly since 1930, when the Scottish Pipe Band Association (today known as the Royal Scottish Pipe Band Association-RSPBA ) was formed. For competitive bands, the title of World Champion is highly coveted, and this event is seen as the culmination of a year's worth of preparation, rehearsal and practice.
Sadly, while I won’t be in Scotland this year, I will be attending a big Worlds party in Connecticut with the Manchester Pipe Band. They’re having a “You Pick the Top 6” contest – winner takes all. Cameron’s Scottish Market will provide meat pies and bridies, with a full bar from 6am EDT.
This led me to wonder, how many other pipe band fans and bands are having their own Worlds parties? So, I asked around. Here’s what I found!
In Ottawa, Ontario, Canada, Arnprior McNab Pipes and Drums are having a Worlds party at one of their pipers’ houses. They will start the morning off at 6am with Caesars(a Canadian drink similar to a Bloody Mary). Last year, the first drink was cracked open at a groggy 5:30am! There will be a potluck brunch for the break between the Medley and MSR and they’ll also have sangria and whisky on tap. Around 20 people will attend. Bob Worrall gave them a shout out last year, and they are hoping to manage another one this year!
In Charleston, SC, the Charleston Pipe Band's party will be starting a little later, at 8:00am. Their Drum Sergeant is hosting and they'll have a friendly wager on - the closest to calling the top 6 wins a bottle of Single Malt! Not a bad parting gift!
The 87th Cleveland Pipe Band in Cleveland, Ohio is holding a Worlds Party at PJ McIntyre's beginning at 7:00am. This year's party will offer the "Mike Henry" Happy Hour with $3 Guinness, Smithwicks, Harp and $3 Bloody Mary's. For breakfast, they'll offer the "North Coast" Irish breakfast; the "Red Hackle" half Irish; The "87th" Breakfast sandwich - white/ rye bread with cheese egg and choice of bacon, rasher or bangers and the "Great Lakes" chicken and waffles!
Down south in Dunedin, Florida, you can watch The Worlds with the Dunedin Scottish Arts Foundation starting at 5:00am! A $10 donation will get you a Full Scottish Breakfast: Bangers, Back Bacon, Scotch Eggs, Scrambled Eggs, Mushrooms, Tomatoes & Scottish beans (served around 8am - to the first 65 people). Grade 1 Pipe Band Competition takes place from 5:15am to 12:15pm, followed by Massed Bands and Awards. Bar will be open!
Who do YOU think will take home the trophy this year??