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Highland Games

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The games go back to contests of strength held among the clans in ancient times, a way for the chiefs and kings to choose the strongest men to serve as their warriors. During the Celtic revival of the early 19th century which was inspired by the writings of James MacPherson and Sir Walter Scot, a renewed interest in the traditions of the clans of the Scottish highlands occurred and was popularised by the upper crust of Society through the patronage of Queen Victoria, who loved all things Highland and wrote about her holidays in her Scottish castle of Balmoral where she retreated after Prince Albert's death. It was during the high Victorian period that the Highland Games began to come into their own as an attraction. Since that time various revivals have occurred boosting the popularity of Highland Games. The St. Andrews Society of Detroit, and the Caledonian Club of San Francisco have sponsored the two oldest Highland Games in the U.S. which date back to the time of the Civil War. Other large gatherings which have become huge attractions more recently are the Ligioneer Highland Games in Pennsylvania, the Alma, Michigan Highland Games, and those held annually at Grandfather Mountain, N.C. and Stone Mountain, GA, though there are more than 200 different annual games and gatherings across the U.S. and Canada, each year.


For info on amateur games, including Highland contact:

Scottish Athletics Federation
Caledonia House,
South Gyle
Edinburgh EH12
0131 317 7320


A comprehensive list of Highland Games is available at

Games information is also available at U.S. Scots On-line at
there is also a form at this site for making updates.

Scottish FAQ > FAQ Contents > Sport and Recreation > Highland Games > Top

Q-HTML V3.4 by Craig Cockburn created this page on 19-Jun-2012 at 08:06:34