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Grandfather Mountain Highland Games Now Underway

By Maria Richardson

July 13, 2012. Despite the fog and rain, many have already come to enjoy the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games taking place through Sunday afternoon.

The 57th Annual Grandfather Mountain Highland Games offer visitors the opportunity to experience the Highlands of Scotland firsthand though traditional music, food and activities. But what some might not realize is that when the sun goes down, the fun is only beginning.

The Highland Games After Dark began on the evening of Thursday, July 12, with the “Gathering.” Here, the masses flock to MacRae Meadows, enjoying bagpipe music and sheep herding demonstrations while anxiously awaiting twilight and the dramatic opening ceremonies.

As the sun sinks behind Grandfather Mountain’s mile high peaks, the clan leaders convene to announce the presence of their family’s line. Some bang their chest and yell as the enthusiastically primitive ceremony progresses, all in an effort to invoke the “Spirit of the Clans” upon the weekend’s traditional Scottish experience.


2012 Tentative Event Schedule Remaining

Saturday, July 14th

7:00 AM Mountain Marathon begins in Boone, NC. Runners will arrive at Games track around 9:30 AM. Among the most strenuous marathons in the nation.

7:30 AM MacRae Meadows Opens

Amateur Heavy Athletic Qualifying Begins

Competition begins for Highland Dancing Atlantic International Championship, piping, drumming, Scottish athletic events, track & field events, Scottish country dancing, Scottish fiddling, and Scottish harp.

Children’s Highland Wrestling Competition

Sheep Herding

Massed Bands on track

Opening Ceremonies

History & Genealogy Studies at Clan Tents

Children’s Tent Activities

Celtic Grove Music

Highland Wrestling

Harp Competitions

Pre-Premier Highland Dance Competition

NC Provincial Gaelic Mod

Scottish Fiddling Workshop & Jam Session

7:00 PM Celtic Rock Concert at MacRae Meadows.
$15 Adults / $5 Children age 5-12


Sunday, July 15th

8:00 AM MacRae Meadows Opens

Scottish Heavy Athletic Demonstration and Clinic

Prelude Music for Worship Service Begins

9:00 AM Scottish Worship Service Outside main gate, bring a folding chair. Includes Kirkin’ of the Tartans.

Children’s Border Collie Demonstration on the main field.

Celtic Grove
Entertainment Begins

Parade of Tartans Guests of Honor & Distinguished Guests are introduced as all members of the sponsoring clans are invited to march in the parade behind the massed pipe bands.

Scottish Fiddling Competition

Atlantic International Highland Dance Championship Competition

Competition takes place throughout the day for Scottish athletic events, sheep herding, kilted miles, children’s events, Scottish country dancing, Scottish harps, Clan Tugs-of-War. Celtic Grove entertainment continues.

History & Genealogy Studies at Clan Tents

Sheep Herding Demonstration

4:00 PM Closing Ceremonies


For more information on the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, phone (828) 733-1333 or visit online www.gmhg.org. For lodging and other travel information, contact North Carolina High Country Host at (800)-438-7500.


Video stayed tuned for more videos from this year
Video by Maria Richardson


Photo Gallery – stayed tuned for more photos from this year
Photos by Maria Richardson

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