/ The Phoenix Traveler
Phoenix — By Heather Wright Schlichting on May 4, 2010 at 6:10 am
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All Things Scottish in Arizona

prescott, scottish, games, eventDid you know that the first known resident of Scottsdale was a Scot named George Washington Scott or that the Arizona Copper Company was owned by a Scottish company?  For the love of all things Scottish, the picturesque town of Prescott which resembles the highlands of Scotland, hosts the Prescott Highland Games on Saturday, May 8.

Highland games are events traditionally held throughout the year in Scotland and other countries as a way of celebrating Scottish and Celtic culture and heritage, especially that of the Scottish Highlands. Certain aspects of the games are so well known as to have become emblematic of Scotland, such as the bagpipes, the kilt, and the heavy events, especially the caber toss, which is an event where competitors toss a large wooden pole called a caber, similar to a telephone pole or power pole.

According to history, the Scottish people have played a significant role in the state of Arizona. The Scots often intermarried with Native Americans and their offspring became known as Scoto-Indians. Archie McIntosh, a Scoto-Indian of Scottish and Chippewa ancestry, became General George Crook’s favorite scout and was present at Crook’s famous meeting with Geronimo.

The gates open at 9am with the opening ceremonies starting at 10am.  While centered on competitions in piping, drumming and dancing, the games also include entertainment and exhibits related to other aspects of Scottish and Gaelic culture.  Some of the heavy athletic events that take place include stone put which is now the Olympic shot put event and hammer throw which is a 16-22 lb hammer made of a round metal ball attached to the end of a shaft around 4 feet in length.  Live performances by the Highland dancers, the Phoenix Pipe Band and the Knockabouts, a local rock band keep the festivities in full swing. Kids will also love the arts and crafts booths and the mini-version of the caber toss and tug of war.

Highland games, Scottish, Gaelic

1700 Jacobite/Highland Rogues

To stay in tune with the theme of the day, reenactors of Scottish history, lore and tradition called the 1700 Jacobite/Highland Rogues walk amongst the crowds to represent the history of Scotland in as true a fashion as possible.  Made up of men and women in handmade garb and some going so far as making flintlock firearms carry blades and other accoutrements all as authentic as possible.

So don your favorite tartin and head to the highlands of central Arizona for a taste of Scottish tradition and fun.  Slainte!

Prescott Highland Games – Saturday, May 8

Game Hours:
9am to 4pm  – regularly scheduled Highland Games
4pm to 7pm  - special Ceilidh (Party) after the games

Special Flyby presented by Modes Warbirds Adventures at 9:40AM
Opening Ceremonies at 10AM

Entertainment all day with live music, Pipers, Dancing, Clans and Herding Dogs
Here’s the schedule

Athletes compete on main field throughout the day

Children’s Activities near the main stage:
Games & Crafts 10am – 4pm
Caber Toss   2pm
Tug of War   3pm

Games Closing Ceremonies at 4PM ending the Highland Games
Ceilidh (party) begins at 4PM
Gates close at 7PM

Ticket Prices at the gate day of games:
Adults $12 – From 9AM to 7PM
Seniors/Students $10 - From 9AM to 7PM
Price includes admission to games and Ceilidh
Ceilidh only is $5 per person

Photos courtesy of Prescott Area Celtic Society

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