You can experience the rich traditions of the Scottish Highlands right here in the U.S. this month, so make plans to attend the Virginia Scottish Games and Festival!
When and Where
The games will begin on Saturday, August 31 and conclude the following day. The festival runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day. All events will be held at Great Meadow, located at 5089 Old Tavern Road, The Plains, Virginia 20198. Tickets are available at the gate. Adult admission is $20 for a single day and $30 for the weekend. Children ages five to 12 may enter for $5 on Saturday. On Sunday, they may enter free of charge.
Traditional Feats of Strength
The grounds of Great Meadow will host a variety of challenges and competitions, each one demonstrating various skills and finesse. Competitors may test their muscles in the Heavy Events. These contests include hurling Braemar stones, the forerunner of the shot-put; and hammers, which are similar to the spinning hammer throw seen during the Olympics. The sheaf toss is a uniquely regional contest in Scotland, associated with agricultural celebrations. Here, the contestants must heave a weighted sack over a high bar using a pitchfork. For the famous caber toss, competitors must lift a tree, charge with it in-hand, and attempt to flip it on end.
Music and Dance
The festival would be incomplete without the sound of bagpipes, and you can expect the region’s pipers to be out in force for the event. The games will include several competitions for pipes, drums, and fiddles, with categories for various grades and skill levels. The music will also accompany the nimble footwork of the Highland Dance competition. Highland Dance is traditionally a solo affair, and it demands incredible stamina and skill to execute the precise movements of the time-honored performances. The centuries-old dances may include the spritely Highland Fling, which was originally performed within the space of a small shield. Among the most iconic of Highland dances, the Ghillie Callum or Sword Dance, recalls the victory of a Celtic prince over an opposing chief in the Battle of Dunsinane.
The Festival Sights and Sounds
Through the weekend, you’ll hear live entertainment by a host of talented artists, and various vendors will display clothing and goods for sale. A variety of food vendors will also provide Celtic dishes, ice cream, and other options. Dogs are welcome to participate in special canine competitions, and some lively border collies will be present to demonstrate their sheep herding skills.
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While You’re Out
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