Do you like bagpipes, kilts, Celtic dancing, and brawny men throwing heavy objects? If so, you need to attend the Highland games. You can find highland games worldwide, but one of the largest clan gatherings takes place just a hop, skip, and a jump from my home.
The Highland games are held at Grandfather Mountain in the North Carolina Smokey Mountains every year in July. If you ever wondered why they are called the Smokey Mountains, check out the picture from my condo balcony.
Attending the Highland Games is a fun weekend—actually it is a four day weekend event. There is music, athletic competitions, shopping, food, and everything Scottish. If you have a Scottish ancestor, you can find out to which clan you belong, visit their tent, and learn about your family history. If you don’t have a drop of Scottish blood, it’s still a great time.
My favorite event to watch is the caber toss. I’m not sure who came up with the idea that tossing a 175 pound tree was a sport, but there are quite a few Scotsmen willing to give it a try. My stomach hurts just watching it.
Aside from watching the events, I probably enjoy the music the most. If you love bagpipes then come out to one of these gatherings. Maybe I’ll see you there.