Mohawk Valley Frasers, Rhode Island Highlanders Take Top Honors at GAIF

UTICA (Aug 5, 2017)

It’s difficult to say who enjoyed the 2017 Great American Irish Festival EUSPBA Bagpipe Competition more – the team who put it together (led by Pat O’Hara and Carole Hackett), the hundreds of people outside the ropes who braved, well, okay… perfect weather, to watch the competition, or the 19 units who gave their all in a classic showdown.

When the dust settled, the hometown Mohawk Valley Frasers took first place in the Grade 5 Division, besting second and third place finishers Feadan Or and Syracuse Scottish, respectively. An elated Rhode Island Highlanders group grabbed first place in Grade 4, followed by Schenectady Pipe Band and the Capital District Youth Pipe Band. The Buffalo Bagpipe Club topped Capital Region Celtic to take top honors in Grade 3. And in the first Junior Competition, it was Capital District Youth Pipe Band coming out ahead of Talcott Mt and the Celtic Friars. With 19 bands competing, this year’s competition boasted the largest turnout in its history.

Said John Bottomley (EUSPBA Judge Director of Bagpiping, United States Military Academy): “When I tell you I love coming up there, I mean it.”

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