On the afternoon of Sunday, June 25, 2023, the skirl of bagpipes was echoing through the town of Carleton Place, Ontario. They were heralding the return of the Carleton Place Tattoo after a 13 year hiatus. This event took place at the Carleton Place Legion, Branch 192, where the spectators gathered to watch from the balcony and the yard and to enjoy the barbeque and the refreshments.
The RCMP Pipes, Drums and Dancers had the honour to act as the Duty Band for the Tattoo. This privilege was to mark the 150th anniversary of the RCMP this year, as well as the 25th anniversary of the community pipe band program for the RCMP. What does the duty band do? They are first on and last off for Massed Bands to anchor the formation and they provide the Drum Major for the parade. It also means the RCMP pipers advanced in front of the bands to lead the traditional Finale tunes.
Eight other pipe bands from the local area and one band from Barrie, Ontario also attended the event. Each band participated in Massed Bands to open and close the event, plus presented a 15 to 20 minute individual show. This is different than a Highland Games, where the pipe bands are competing in various grades. This day was just for fun. In all, there were some 170 pipers and drummers on the field.
In addition to the pipe bands, the Rosemary Breman Highland Dancers showcased their art with a short dance recital.
The RCMP band’s show for the event naturally featured our corps of skilled Highland Dancers. Their unique interpretation of the tunes played for their sets were much enjoyed by the audience and drew a standing ovation as we marched off.
For the march on set, we did something a bit different, starting with the tune Epic at the halt, then marching in to Maple Leaf Forever and Vive la Canadienne.
The dancers did two of their favourite sets. The highlight was the jig set, done to the set Fair Maid of Barra, Ass in the Graveyard, Atholl Highlanders and Muir’s Jig. The video of that set is available on Youtube, here. It was a bit too long to imbed in this post.
The march off was to the RCMP Regimental March.
It was quite a warm day, which meant lots of water was consumed to keep the players hydrated. What was less normal for a summer event was the blanket of smoke over the area, due to the intense forest fires to the north. Sadly, this meant that the photos of the event presented here are less brilliant than they might have been, but we hope you enjoy them anyway. Despite these obstacles, all bands put on their best performances and the crowds were very enthusiastic.
Judging by the reaction of the crowd and the participating bands, it won’t be so long until the next presentation of the Carleton Place Tattoo. As a matter of fact, they have tentatively set the date for the next one as Sunday, June 23 2024. Mark your calendars and don’t miss it.