Highland Games

    The highland games are festivals held throughout the year in Scotland and other countries as a way of celebrating Scottish and Celtic culture and heritage. In their original form many centuries ago, Highland games revolved around athletic and sports competitions. Through these competitions the king would select the finest athletes to be his personal guard and entourage. The games were also a way for the clans to demonstrate their relative strength to each other with actually having to go too war. Some of the implements used in the games were created as alternatives to traditional weapons when England forbid any Scotsman from bearing arms. Though other activities were always a part of the festivities, many today still consider Highland athletics to be what the games are all about—in short, that the athletics are the Games, and all the other activities are just entertainment. Regardless, it remains true today that the athletic competitions are at least an integral part of the events and one—the caber toss—has come to almost symbolize the Highland games. Although quite a range of events can be a part of the Highland athletics competition, a few have become standard.

    All day Saturday & Sunday.

    The Caber Toss: is a traditional Scottish athletic event practiced at the Scottish Highland Games involving the tossing of a large wooden pole called a caber, similar to a telephone pole or power pole.  It is said to have developed from the need to toss logs across narrow chasms to cross them. In Scotland the caber is usually made from a Larch pine tree and is typically 19 feet 6 inches tall and weighs about 175 pounds…

    To see this event in action, come by the center arena Saturday & Sunday from 1:00PM onwards

    The Hammer Throw: is an athletic throwing event where a round metal ball (weighing 16 or 22 lb. for men or 12 or 16 lb. for women) is attached to the end of a shaft about 4 feet in length and made out of wood, bamboo, rattan, or plastic. With the feet in a fixed position, the hammer is whirled about one’s head and thrown for distance over the shoulder. Hammer throwers sometimes employ specially designed footwear with flat blades to dig into the turf to maintain their balance and resist the centrifugal forces of the implement as it is whirled about the head. This substantially increases the distance attainable in the throw.

    To see this event in action, come by the center arena throughout the day both Saturday & Sunday.

    The Sheaf Toss: is a traditional Scottish agricultural event originally contested at country fairs.  A pitchfork is used to hurl a burlap bag stuffed with straw over a horizontal bar above the competitor’s head. Typical weight for the bag is 16 pounds.  Three chances are given to each competitor to cleanly go over the bar, without touching it.  After all challengers have made their attempts, the bar is raised and all successful competitors move on to the new height.  This continues until all but one athlete is eliminated.

    To see this event in action, come by the center arena throughout the day both Saturday & Sunday.

    Weight for Height: is a test of strength featured at Scottish Highland games.  The weight is a steel or lead weight (with a bell, spherical or cylindrical shape) attached to a metal circular handle.  The weight is thrown one-handed over a bar set at increasing heights above the thrower.  The thrower has three attempts for each successive height. Places are determined by maximum height reached with the fewest misses.

    The size of the weight varies with the competition class.  Advanced male athletes throw a 56 lb. weight, female athletes throw a 28 lb. weight.

    To see this event in action, come by the center arena throughout the day both Saturday & Sunday.

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