What is a Clan?

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What is a Clan?

The Gaelic word “Clann” means family or tribe. Each clan has its own tartan which is worn as a kilt or sash and members are fiercely loyal to the group. The reason for the strength of the Scottish clans can be summarized in a quote from a clansman who said, “ I owe my allegiance to the land of my Birth but I am first, last and always a “ (insert your Clan name).”

Each year we select one clan as the “Honored Clan” of the Blairsville Scottish Festival and Highland Games. The Honored Clan for our 15th Anniversary Festival is Clan Gunn. The Gaelic spelling is Ginne and the Motto is “Aut Pax Aut Bellum” meaning “either peace or war.” The Badge is Juniper and the family lands were Caithness and Sutherland. The origin of the name is from the Norse name Gunn-ar. Their pipe music is “The Gunn’s Salute.” The current Clan Chief is The Honorable Ian A Gunn.

The Festival has between 35-40 clans and societies represented each year.  Don’t know your clan? The Scottish Tartans Museum can help you discover your family heritage. Be sure to stop by their tent to discover your own family history.

Not Scottish? Pick a favorite clan, and we bet they won’t mind if you join them for the weekend! The Camerons are a nice bunch if you need a place to start, but you’ll find there are nice folks in every Clan. Everyone is a wee bit Scottish at the Blairsville Scottish Festival and Highland Games.

Meeks Park on Highway 515 hosts all the events on Saturday and Sunday, June 9 and 10. Gates open at 9 am Saturday morning. The opening ceremony with the massed bands and parade of tartans will be at noon on Saturday. Don’t forget to register online at for 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.

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!