Kilts and cabers ready for the Highland Games


April 27 — OXFORD — Have you ever seen someone throw a telephone pole? Would you? For the caber toss and other feats of strength, head to the Highland Games in Oxford on Saturday April 30.

Maybe athletics isn’t your speed. In that case, show up anyway, as the games will feature a live demo of River Dance. If you like music, discover the pipe bands: a group of musicians who play bagpipes and drums while marching.

These games are the first such event in Granville County.

“We’re going to have fun,” organizer Buck Buchanan said. “A great moment in a small town. We are really excited to do this and really excited to help Central Children’s Home.”

About 40 athletes, men and women from 13 states, will compete in the caber toss and the NC Sheaf Toss Championship, traditional Scottish sporting events.

“Caber” refers to a thin, neatly cut log of wood the length and width of a telephone pole. Competitors will have to throw the caber so that it lands at one end. Here’s the catch: Cabers weigh a lot, around 160 pounds. Don’t try this at home. A sheaf, on the other hand, is a bundle of twine weighing approximately 16 pounds. Competitors will throw this over a high bar.

And the athletes will wear the appropriate attire: knee-length skirt-like items called “kilts,” which are decorated with tartan plaid patterns. Each unique design is associated with a Scottish clan.

The games will take place on the grounds of Central Children’s Home, Oxford, 211 W. Antioch Drive, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets are $20 for ages 16 and up. Children 15 and under enter for free. All proceeds will go to Central Children’s Home of North Carolina.

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Jennifer R. Strohm