Highland games come to Forysth | Free News

The Forsyth Chamber of Commerce will bring a piece of Scottish tradition to the area.

The Highland Games will be held for the first time at the Chamber’s Harvest Moon Festival on Saturday, October 1 at Forsyth’s Shoals Bend Park.

Forsyth Chamber of Commerce administrative assistant Andrea McCotter told Branson Tri-Lakes News that the addition is intended to provide the festival with unique activities.

“We have a lot more room in the park and wanted to include some fun new activities,” McCotter said. “The Highland Games fits perfectly into this framework. This year we only have a men’s division and hope to expand into other events and add a women’s division next year. We have a teenage division for boys ages 15-17.

The Highland Games are traditional sporting events held in the spring and summer in Scotland and other countries with large Scottish populations, to celebrate Scottish and Celtic culture, particularly that of the Scottish Highlands. Around the world, the games are well known for bagpipes, kilts, and sporting events where participants show off their strength and skill.

McCotter said for this first year, attendees can expect to see feats of strength and fashion in Scotland.

“Entrants can expect to have to throw heavy rocks in a variety of ways,” McCotter said. “(There will) also be a bale of hay thrown over a high bar with a pitchfork and kilts.”

McCotter, who has family ties to Scotland, said it was all about the fun of the competition.

“We have Scottish heritage, so we love the camaraderie of sports games,” McCotter said. “(It’s) just a bunch of people getting together to have a good time.”

The chamber postponed their registration to participate.

“Registration was scheduled to take place on September 15, but has been pushed back to Thursday, September 22,” Forsyth Chamber of Commerce president Rose Backlin said. “There is a $15 entry fee and an optional $15 for a t-shirt.”

There are forms and waivers on the chamber’s website, at forsythmissouri.org, to participate in the games. The chamber intends to expand the Highland Games in the future, but for this year they want to keep fans who want to try something new, according to McCotter.

“This is an event that we would like to be part of the Harvest Moon Festival,” McCotter said. “This year it will all be amateurs, just to have fun and try something new. We would like a group of guys to come out and try.

For more information, visit the chamber’s website or “Forsyth Area Chamber of Commerce” on Facebook.

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Jennifer R. Strohm