The Highland games will continue

LAURINBURG – As residents of County Scotland continue to return to normal life after Hurricane Florence, the County of Scotland Highland Games are hoping to help them.

The Highland Games are celebrating their 10th year, opening Friday October 5 and ending Sunday October 7. For Bill Caudill, Director of Scottish Heritage at the University of St. Andrews and President of the Games, to continue with the event is a testament to the strength of the County of Scotland.

“For the 10th year, we survive,” Caudill said. “The most important thing is that the Games continue. The decision was made very carefully so that we disregarded any effort at recovery – but as we get back to normal, continuing helps everything get back to normal. “

The land on which the Games are being held – the North Carolina Rural Heritage Center – suffered damage during the storm, but is being cleaned and repaired for the Games. Recently a group from Carver Middle School came over and helped clean up after the storm.

“We are very lucky it could have been a lot worse,” said Lee Gaunt, chairman of the Scottish County Historic Properties Commission. “Where the sawmill is and the railroad tracks were flooded and trees fell on the stage and the station – along with other trees, but these were all cleaned up.”

While all events are currently scheduled, there could be changes ahead of Saturday’s Games. But Caudill said there will definitely be returning favorites.

Some of these include a Scottish bagpiper who will give a recital. The show was originally scheduled to take place at 8 p.m. at the Morris Morgan Theater at St. Andrews University, but had been moved to Laurinburg Presbyterian Church on West Church Street because St. Andrews was damaged by flooding and failed. has not yet started its activities.

The Pipe Band competition will be more present this year on the main stage and will be designed to be more like a concert, and the Scottish Harp Contest will be back this year. Caudill said the harp competition was a big favorite at last year’s Games, but it’s something else that’s always a crowd favorite.

“Track and field is a big favorite of the Games,” said Caudill. “The draw is really huge – we actually set a world record here three years ago for that…. Kids’ events are always popular too, we have mini versions of what adult athletes do for kids to try out.

On Friday evening, the annual Whiskey Seminar and Gathering will be held at 3 pm at the Storytelling Arts Center at 131 S. Main St. This is the seventh year of the tasting and features “Auld Friends with a twist”. The whiskeys will come from familiar distilleries but offer others from “flagship” emissions.

This year’s whiskeys include: Glenmorangie Nectar D’Or, 12, from the Highlands region, Balvenie Caribbean Cask, 14, from the Speyside region, Tomatin Highland Single Malt Scotch Whiskey, 12, from the Highlands region , Laphroaig Triple Wood Cask Aged from the Islay region and Balcones 1 Texas Single Malt Whiskey from Waco, Texas.

Overall, Caudill is hopeful that the crowds will still come to the event despite everything that has happened statewide due to the storm. Last year the event broke records with 6,000 people attending and Caudill is hoping the record can be broken again – or at least come close to last year’s attendance.

“It’s 10th year and I just want the event to go well,” Caudill said. “I would like to see good gate traffic and attract more people from the area, as we generally have a larger crowd from out of town than out of town. I think it would be a good event because after the storm families might be looking to go out and do something fun together and it’s a great event to do that.

Tickets can be purchased in advance and cost $ 12 for adults and $ 3 for children 5 to 12 years old. At the door, tickets for adults will be $ 15 and children 5 to 12 years old will be $ 5. Children under 5 are free. Advance tickets can be purchased at the Laurinburg-Scotland County Chamber of Commerce at 605 Atkinson St., Bob’s Jewel Shop at 110 West Church Street or online at

There will also be a military discount of $ 2 for active duty military personnel and their spouses.

Contact Katelin Gandee at 910-506-3171 or [email protected]

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Jennifer R. Strohm