Scots don tartans, brave the cold at 4th annual Calgary Kilt Skate

Scottish-Canadians celebrated their dual heritage on Sunday by donning kilts and skates at Olympic Plaza.

Gaelic choir, bagpipe players regaled skaters at event

Skaters braved the cold Sunday to celebrate their Scottish roots at Calgary's Olympic Plaza. (Rachel Maclean/CBC)

Scottish-Canadians celebrated their dual heritage on Sunday by donning kilts and skates at Olympic Plaza.

Some donned tights, while others went without during the four-hour skate Sunday. (Rachel Maclean/CBC)

Attendees at the fourth annual Calgary Kilt Skate were serenaded by a Gaelic choir and bagpipes as they braved the chilly –20 C weather with bare knees peeking out beneath their tartans. 

Skaters took to the ice in their best tartans on Sunday afternoon for the fourth annual Calgary Kilt Skate. (Audrey Neveu/CBC)

Hot cocoa was served to keep participants warm, and they also cut into a cake to belatedly celebrate the birthday of John A. Macdonald, Canada's first prime minister.

"We're basically celebrating Canadian heritage," said event organizer David Aftergood. "We're celebrating Canada, and the multicultural aspect of Canada."

Tiny Scottish flags flap in the cold wind at Olympic Plaza Sunday. (Rachel Maclean/CBC)

Highland dancers also danced on the sidelines as skaters whizzed past.

Aftergood said that Calgary has strong Scottish roots, as the city's name means "clear running water" in Gaelic.

A bagpiper regales skaters at the Calgary Kilt Skate on Sunday. (Audrey Neveu/CBC)

Six other communities across Canada participated in the event this year: Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, and Alexandria, Ont.

The event was originally started in Ottawa to celebrate Sir John A. Macdonald's bicentennial.

Group photo! These Scottish skaters marked the occasion with a quick picture. (Rachel Maclean/CBC)

With files from Audrey Neveu