Scottish clans reunite for full-day Ligonier Highland Games

The clans will meet again for the Haut-Ligonier Games.

Returning after a pandemic break, the celebration of Scottish heritage is scheduled for Saturday at Idlewild & SoakZone, off Route 30 in the Township of Ligonier. Doors open at 8:00 a.m., with the last event starting at 5:30 p.m.

Typically spanning a weekend, the 62nd version of the event was condensed into one day. It will always offer all the favorite features visitors have come to expect: caber throwers and kilted hammer throwers, Highland dancers, pipers and fiddlers, singers and storytellers, and vendors of Celtic items. , Scottish shortbread and other foods.

“The games have everything Scotland has to offer except architecture. There are no castles, ”said Kelly Shaffer, event publicist. “Once you park your car you are in a whole different world, with everyone walking around in kilt, Scottish dogs, bagpipes playing.”

Welcome ceremonies will begin at noon on the main field, featuring the massed marching bands and the tartan parade.

The Scottish clans will be escorted by the Scottish regiment of 1758 from Fort Ligonier. Bagpipe groups will follow, marching across the field in formation to play several traditional tunes.

Entertainment, feats of strength

Events featured include intensive athletics, starting at 9 am on the main field; Highland dance competition, 9 am to 4 pm at Pavilion D2; and the Gaelic Mod, a Gaelic language, poetry and song demonstration and competition, 9 am to 3 pm at Pavilion C8.

Shane Dunlap | Tribune-Review

Athletes compete in the 28-pound shot put at the 2019 Ligonier Highland Games at Idlewild & SoakZone near Ligonier.

The massed groups will also perform again at 5 p.m. on the main field.

The following are also planned:

• Exhibitions of bagpipes, percussion and bagpipes

• Scottish harp and violin workshops and competitions

• Celtic musical entertainment

• Scottish country dance demonstrations

• children’s games and Scottish tales

• Spinning, weaving, sheep shearing and living history demonstrations

• Vendors of food, jewelry, tartans and other Celtic items

• Information tents on clans and genealogy

The artists include Barra the Bard, a Scottish storyteller appearing at the games for the 30th time. Celtic rockers The Low Kings, singer / songwriter / storyteller Cahal Dunne and other singers, musicians and dancers are also present on three stages.

Throwing the haggis

Participants will also be able to get into the spirit of the games – and win prizes – by entering the raffle, with age groups for men and women, and a haggis competition for women.

Legend has it that the women stood on one side of the Dromach River and threw haggi breakfasts to their husbands on the other side. Now there is a World Haggis Hurling Association with competitions all over the world, Shaffer said.

Clans planning to attend include Buchanan, Campbell, Cameron, Donald, Fergusson, Gregor, Hamilton, Hanna, Hay, Kennedy, Irwin, Lockhart, MacAlister, MacBean, MacDougall, MacDuff, MacFarlane, MacGillivray, Mackintosh, Moncreiffe, Murray , Stewart and Young.

The lack of judges available for the bagpipe and drum, dance and track and field competitions was a major factor in moving to a one-day event, Executive Director Rick Wonderly said when announcing the event. this year’s event in April.

Due to international travel restrictions in place when organizers searched for judges, only U.S. judges were available, Wonderly said. The pool of judges available was even more limited as many other Highland games canceled last year were also moved to September.

“There is still a full list of events,” Shaffer said. “One of the great things about games is that it’s an outside site, and that’s huge. Entertainment will be offered throughout the park.

“Usually being outside is a point of anxiety because you are dependent on the weather,” she said. “But this year being outside is actually a bonus, because a lot of people are even more comfortable outside.”

Events only cancel each other out in the event of thunder and lightning, she added.

Admission is $ 20, $ 18 for 55 and over, $ 5 for 11-17 and free for the youngest.


Shirley McMarlin is a writer for Tribune-Review. You can contact Shirley at 724-836-5750, [email protected] or via Twitter .

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