August 26, 2008

Scots step up for Highland Games
Annual festival set for Saturday

By Jessica Patterson
Times Reporter
Friday August 22, 2008

The High River Highland Games are set to begin Saturday at 8 a.m. with a kilted run, continuing with various events all day at the Highwood high school grounds.
The lineup includes piping, dancing and Scottish heavy events. There will be Scottish food to taste, vendors to browse through, re-enactors to watch, sheepdog trials to cheer for, as well as Celtic music at the ceilidh in the evening.
This year’s Highland Games has a platinum
sponsor -- the Murals by Montrose.
“It definitely makes a big difference to know we’re getting that support from our sponsors,” said Games president Jackie Roe.
The heavy events clinic went well last weekend, with the pros teaching two local rookies how to throw the weight for distance, the Scottish hammer and the open and
braemar stone.
Lloyd Weller, from High River, came to try it out. After a few throws, he confirmed he would be throwing in the High River Games, “unless I get hurt,” he said.
“I wanted to do it at least once, to say I’ve done it,” Weller said. “Life’s too short not to have tried it.”
For Aldersyde resident JR Beauregard, who came to the clinic, his reasons echoed Weller’s.
“It’s time for me to get back involved into the community,” he said.
“It’s time to give ‘er a shot. You’re never too old to try something new.”
The High River Highland Games heavy events include the open and braemar stone, the Scottish hammer throw, the weight for distance and weight for height and the
caber toss.
For the kids, there will be a kids’ area with activities for the wee ones.
And when kids find Willie on the grounds, they might get a little treat. There will be Willie puzzle pieces in The High River Times throughout the week…
There will be wee folk heavy events this year, said Jackie Roe.
“Kids can sign up for a little caber toss before 11: 30 a.m. and they’ll compete
between 12 and 1 p.m.”
There will also be medieval re-enactors demonstrating sword fighting, and sheepdog trials.
The day begins with a kilted run.

“We will still take entries on the day of the Games,” said organizer Jackie Roe. “As long as they show up at 7:45 a.m., they can run at 8 a.m.”
The $30 fee gets the
runner a free T-shirt and entry to the Games. All proceeds go to the Foothills AIM Society.
“We would love to see more people kilted up and out on the road,” Roe said.
Those interested can register online, and bring their fee tomorrow.
For more information, check the Games website at
Get into the step of things with the
Highland dance competition.
“Visitors will be able to see the
traditional favourites like the Highland Fling and Sword dance”, said Roe.
Dances include Flora MacDonald’s Fancy, the Scottish Lilt, the Highland Laddie, the Sean Truibhas, Blue Bonnets over the Border and Wilt Thou Go the Barracks Johnnie.
About 140 dancers will compete for prizes that include $2,400 for dancers over 16, and earn points toward a bursary. The awards this year include Dancer of the Day, and a Spirit of Dance award, sponsored by the Robinson family.
This year, the ever-popular ceilidh in the evening features Celtic and East Coast rock band Fraid Knot.
“They’re fantastic,” Roe said.
Band member Glenn Webster, who plays guitar and mandolin, said Highland Games caters to the band’s style.
“We try to keep things traditional with an edge,” he said. “We play a lot of
traditional Scottish and Irish music and some of our own songs as well.”
The Highland Games are always a good time, he said.
Entry to the ceilidh costs $10 for adults and $5 for youth
There will be a piping competition going on throughout the day, for solo pipers and bands. The Games will also feature something new this year, called kitchen piping.
“We’re trying to encourage pipers, after the massed bands, to come out and play little tunes like what you hear at kitchen parties,” said Roe.
You can’t go to the Games without trying a bite from Scotland.
High River-based Ross’s Bakery will have Scottish meat pies, sausage rolls, shortbreads and scones among its offerings this year.
“Scottish meat pies, it’s a staple diet in Scotland,” said owner Don Ross.
“There were a few bakers in Scotland, who, that was all they sold for years and years.”
The Scot made 30 dozen meat pies for the Games last year and he sold out.
“This year, I’ll make 40 dozen,” he said. “A lot of people come later in the day and taken them home for supper.”
The Highland Games mark the biggest day of the year for Ross, “even bigger than Christmas,” he said.
For those wanting something a little more modern, Headless Chef Productions will also be catering at the Games.
“We are serving healthy alternatives,” said Jennifer LeCaine, the catering business manager.
“What we’re doing, we’re doing beef stew, a barbecue pork chili and three bean chili for vegetarians, a marinated veggie salad and we are providing milk and juice, water and an assortment of sweets.”
8 a.m. -- 8-kilometre kilted run begins. Individual piping and drumming
competition begins. Vendors open. Heavy events competition begins.
9 a.m. -- Dance competition begins. “Wee Folk” (children’s) area opens. Sign-up for “Wee Folk” heavy events begins.
10 a.m. -- Beer and food tent opens.
11 a.m. -- Sheepdog demonstrations begin, continuing every half hour until 2 p.m.
11:30 a.m. -- Sign-up for “Wee Folk” heavy events closes.
Noon -- “Wee Folk” area closes. “Wee Folk” heavy events begin.
1 p.m. -- Opening ceremonies at centre field. Afternoon events continue at heavy events field. “Wee Folk” area re-opens.
3 p.m. -- “Wee Folk” area closes.
4 p.m. -- Massed bands in centre field.
6 p.m. -- Ceilidh begins. Available tickets can be purchased at the door.
1 a.m. -- Ceilidh closes.

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