Grandfather Mountain Highland Games

July 6–9, 2017, near Linville

Grandfather Mountain Highland Games

Photo courtesy of VisitNC.com

Festive bagpipes, astounding athletes and tons of tartans are set to converge next month in western North Carolina. The annual Grandfather Mountain Highland Games is one of the world’s largest gatherings of Scottish clans, and hearkens back to Scotland’s traditions of yesteryear.

Scottish Hammer Throw

Photo by Bill Russ–VisitNC.com

The Highland Games feature traditional heavyweight Scottish athletic contests, drumming and harp competitions, parades and live Celtic music. Adult athletes will compete in many feats of strength such as Tossing the Sheaf (lofting a 16-pound sack of hay over a bar more than 20 feet high). Youngsters enjoy participating in junior versions of the games, including competing in wrestling contests, foot races and tug-of-war battles. They also perform dancing and music recitals.

Families with Scottish roots can learn about their genealogy at clan tents that display various family crests. Visitors also enjoy watching the weaving and spinning demos and browsing the open-air market for Gaelic and tartan gift items and refreshments, including Scottish meat pies.

The Games will be held at MacRae Meadows on Grandfather Mountain (near Linville) from Thursday through Sunday, July 6–9, 2017. Admission for adults: $15, Thursday; $20, Friday; $30, Saturday; $15 Sunday; children: $5 daily for ages 5 to 12; free for under age 5.

Call 828-733-1333 or visit bit.ly/gm-games17 for more information.

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