Last weekend, I had the opportunity to enjoy the Scottish Highlands Games and Festival in Sacramento. While I’ve never been to Scotland, it was a fantastic experience. Because of my experience with bagpipes, kilts, and the Scottish Highlands games, there are many reasons why this Sacramento Scottish festival won’t be my last.
No matter where you travel, connecting with locals is a great part of the experience of traveling. You don’t have to go far to meet new people and make a festival, summer vacation, or backpacking trip memorable. Even in the Scottish games and festival in Sacramento gave me an opportunity to do that as I met the Chief of the Caledonian Club of Sacramento, Randy Russell, as well as guys like Larry Brock, Daniel McKim, Chad Gustin, and others (more on them next week).
However, here are a few highlights from the Sacramento Scottish Highlands Games and Festival.
- This is a big deal in Sacramento. Nearly 70 clans participated with over 25,000 people attending (not official numbers – it may have been much more than that).
- There may be more highly attended festivals but not many that are older. It’s the third oldest Scottish festival in the United States.
- The Scottish games have professional athletes who compete all over North America and the world.
- The events in the Scottish games are fascinating. And despite what anyone thinks, they are not easy!
- There are officially 147 clans in Scotland with 92 of those still in existence today. The sound of a surname is often more important than its spelling.
- You can get some decent fish ‘n chips in the Sacramento area. It’s not recommended to eat this every day!
- You can research your genealogy, enjoy Scottish music, learn more about Scottish clans and history, and go to Scotland for free! (OK, that last part I made up but I will be giving away 10 free tickets to next year’s Scottish Games and Festival in Sacramento – close enough!)
OK enough with the facts and history. Here are some photos of the 135th Scottish Highlands Games & Festival in Sacramento!