Thursday, May 5, 2011

35th Annual Savannah Scottish Games

The 35th Annual Savannah Scottish Games are here. Saturday May 7th beginning at 9am on the Bethesda Grounds overlooking the Moon River, 9520 Ferguson Avenue. Welcoming ceremonies begin at 12 noon with Closing ceremonies at 4:30 pm. The Savannah games are the 4th oldest Scottish Games in the Southeastern United States. The Games allow the visitor to enjoy the sounds, tastes, and visual images that Highlanders experienced as early as 100 AD. Come join a grand celebration of Scottish culture with competition, entertainment, shopping, activities, and refreshments for the entire family!

According to folklore, highland competitions extend back well before medieval times to keep Scottish Regiments physically fit so they could maintain their endurance during battle or to celebrate a victory. The Savannah Scottish Games boasts three competitions – 2011 USIR Highland Dancing Regional Championships, SSAAA sanctioned Amateur Heavy Athletics and EUSPBA sanctioned Bagpipe bands/individual pipers:

· Highland Dancers like to fling! The Fling is one of four dances that five age groups from throughout the southeast will perform as part of the 2011 USIR Highland Dancing Southern Regional Championships. This event is one of six regional competitions held in the United States. Come and see potential 2011 USIR Highland Dancing Champions!

· Heavy Athletics are the original extreme sport – a power sport for power athletes! Men and women compete in seven events that hone the skills that a warrior needs. Come see the Caber Toss, Hammer Throw (and explosive event), Stone of Strength (Clackneart), Tossing the Sheaf and other events.

· Bagpipe bands and individual pipers come from all over the southeast to compete in the Savannah Games’ EUSPBA sanctioned competition. The piping competition hosted over 140 pipers at the 2010 games. The “mass bands” of the opening ceremonies parade all bands center field as a powerful representation of Scottish culture with music to officially begin the games.
North America’s beloved Scottish folksinger, Alex Beaton will grace the entertainment stage performing three sets throughout the day. This quintessential entertainer delights audiences with his rich baritone voice, virtuoso guitar playing, and engaging stage presence. The entertainment stage will present traditional Celtic music throughout the day with the talents of the Savannah Ceilidh Band and Cynergy featuring Moira Nelligan. Moira is a distinguished touring artist of the Georgia Council of the Arts, and has been awarded their Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Grant as a master fiddler.
Love Celtic art? The Scottish Market offers everything from bagpipes to cashmere sweaters, kilts to Scottish souvenirs, music, replica weaponry, jewelry and pottery. Taste traditional Scottish fare such as haggis or Scotch pies. Discover your roots in the Scottish Highlands by visiting the genealogy tent on Clan Row or visit the backbone of all Scottish Games, one of over 20 clan tents to learn more about their clan and Scottish heritage.

The Savannah Scottish Games is a great way to study early Georgia History in a family-friendly setting. Clann Nan Con was formed in 1998 to give as accurate a portrayal as possible of the early Scottish settlers of Georgia. See their period clothing made of real Scottish tartan material and traditional weapons and accoutrements. Interact with Governor General of the Colony, James Oglethorpe, (Scott Hodges of Hodges, South Carolina), as he walks through the crowd offering historical account from past times and events which helped to shape our modern world. Watch Master trainer Bill Coburn’s Border Collies demonstrate their amazing sheep and geese-herding skills. Wee visitors to the Children’s Activities can try their hand at several pint-sized athletic activities including the tug-of-war, sheaf toss, caber toss, haggis hurl, stone throw, welly toss and sack race.

The games are also honored to host a documentary crew from The Savannah College of Art and Design. They will be filming at this year’s games as well as at other games-weekend events to capture the essence of Savannah’s celebration of Scottish culture.
Celebrations go on before and after the Games:

· Friday evening 5 PM, May 6th at Molly MacPherson’s Scottish Pub & Grill. Tickets are $20 in advance or $25 at the door.

· Friday, May 6th at 7 pm, Sponsors and Patrons gather for a formal event at The Savannah Golf Club.

· On Sunday, May 8th, a Kirkin’ O’ The Tartans will be held at 11am at Independent Presbyterian Church on Bull Street. Highlander patriotism, faithfulness, and strong independence are remembered by the displaying of tartans and public parade of the clans to the sound of the bagpipe in beautiful historic downtown Savannah.
For a full schedule of events and more information on the 35th Annual Savannah Scottish Games,
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