Our majestic community will become transformed into the land of Scotland during the weekend of June 9 and 10 when Scotsman arrive to celebrate their history and traditions at the 15th Annual Blairsville Scottish Festival and Highland Games. This event is continues to be ranked in the top half of Festivals and Events in the 12 state area represented by the Southeast Tourism Society.
Meeks Park on Highway 515 hosts all the events on Saturday and Sunday, June 9 and 10. The opening ceremony with the massed bands and parade of tartans will be at noon on Saturday.
An exciting new event for 2018 will be the Gaelic Gallop, a 5K race/1 mile Fun Run/Walk. Registration begins at 7 am at the North Georgia Tech campus across from Meeks Park on Highway 515. The Gaelic Gallop begins at 8 am, rain or shine. Please go the Blairsville Scottish Festival website at www. blairsvillescottishfestival.com to pre-register.
Clans representing different families with Scottish heritage will be present to help you discover your Scottish ancestry. When children come into the park they are given a passport so the clans can stamp it as they share a unique fact about their family. Then the children will receive a prize when they have learned several facts from the clansmen. Other free activities for the children include children’s Scottish athletics and face painting.
The entire family will enjoy the Men’s Athletic Competition including the caber toss which is similar to tossing a telephone pole. Levels A, B and Masters will compete. Level A are athletes who have competed prior to our festival and won. Level B have never competed or have not won a completion. The Masters level is for athletes over the age of 40 who still compete.
Scottish bagpipes and drums will be performing throughout the park both days. New for 2018 is a special presentation of Sir Paul McCartney’s Wings. Check our upcoming articles in the North Georgia News for more information on this exciting new addition to the Blairsville Scottish Festival and Highland Games.
Highland dancers will be performing and may just invite you to learn a jig or two. Border Collies will demonstrate how they tend the sheep for Scottish farmers and falconers will be sharing the importance of the birds of prey in Scottish life. Re-enactors will gladly demonstrate how the Scots lived in years past.
You will even have the opportunity to buy traditional foods such as haggis, bridies and scones. For our friends not familiar with Scottish fare haggis looks and tastes a lot like our potted meat and bridies are meat pockets. Scones are a delicious sweet treat for all.
Volunteers are a vital part the success of the Blairsville Scottish Festival and Highland Games as over 9,000 visitors attend each year. If you would like to be involved in this exciting event please contact Renee Deibert at 706-897-4598.
Be sure to place the Blairsville Scottish Festival and Highland Games on June 9 and 10 in your calendars. See you there!