Highland Games mark 57th year in Salado
Heralding all things Scottish, the 57th Annual Scottish Gathering and Highland Games is the oldest Scottish festival in Texas and has been sponsored continuously by the Salado Museum.
This year, Salado celebrates the 57th Scottish Gathering and Highland Games (www.saladoscottishfestival.com) on the grounds of the Salado Civic Center, Nov. 9-11.
The three-day event includes the skirl of bagpipes, wearing of the tartan, tossing the caber, Highland dancing, Celtic musicians, shopping, food and more. One of the event’s main features is the Clan Village, the largest gathering of Scottish Clans in Texas where members from 40 Scottish clans and societies will share information about Scottish history and genealogy.
On the evening of Nov. 9, a solemn torchlight ceremony is held on the banks of Salado Creek that recreates the coming together of the ancient Scottish clans to fight with Robert the Bruce for Scotland’s freedom in 1314 at Bannockburn. The Calling of the Clans ceremony is free to the public and starts at 6 p.m. Nov. 9 Creekside off Royal Street just north of the museum building. A ticketed “Welcome Social” follows at the Museum.
The Gathering begins at 9 a.m. Nov. 10 on the Salado Civic Center grounds. Scottish athletics competition (including Tossing the Caber), Highland Dancing competition, bagpiping and drumming competitions, Bonniest Knees Contest, Scottish shortbread baking contest, live Celtic music, a Celtic marketplace, local and Scottish food vendors and more.
The official opening ceremonies begin at noon with the Bands and Clans Parade on Main Street followed by presentations and massed bagpipe bands on the Civic Center grounds. The parade will start at North Pace Park Road and move north on Main Street to the Civic Center grounds.
Events begin at 9 a.m. Nov. 11 with the Kirkin’ o’ the Tartan, a traditional devotional service in which family groups carry banners of their family tartans and ask blessings on the families. Sunday activities include bagpipe band competition, Scottish athletics, Clan tents, pet parade and contest, children’s games, live Celtic music, food, and shopping.
For more information, go to www.saladoscottishfestival.com or call the Museum at 254-947-5232.