Carolyn Robertson -Brengle Terrace Park was recently filled for two days with the activities, contests, vendors and music of events surrounding the 48th San Diego Scottish Highland Games. Parking was at a premium for the event as large crowds filled the area surrounding the Vale Terrace and Jim Porter Parkway. Shuttles provided access to both the Main Gate, Senior Gate and the Clan Gate entrances.
As those attending wandered the area they had their choice of events, activities, food, vendors to see, including a visit to the tents set up by a number of the Scottish Clans. The event even featured a Kirkin’ O’ Scotland Service on Sunday led by Pastor Phillip Cross, held on the Main Stage. Throughout the day visitors could take in Scottish Athletics, Bag Piping and Drumming competitions, Highland Dancing held in the Gymnasium, a variety of children’s activities, Sheepdog Trials and Birds of Prey demonstrations.
Photos and Article by Carolyn Robertson
On the Main Stage entertainment was provided throughout the day by the Browne Sisters and Men of Worth and at the Beer Garden the popular Highland Way and Wicked Tinkers had the audience in a raucous festive mood. A number of Pipe Bands and Drumming contests were held featuring performances by groups like Cameron Highlanders Pip Band, House of Scotland, City of Long Beach, Glendora High School Pasadena Scottish Pipes & Drums and UCR Riverside. These groups competed as well as solo artists.
In the vendors section those attending could purchase from a large selection of Scottish clothing and other adornments for Scottish costuming. Over 20 vendors offered their wares and food items for sale. From this spot visitors could wander into the Clan tents that were set up where various Clan members set up displays and would talk to you about their Clan history.
The Food Vendors were a popular stopping place at the Food Court. Pouring beer and offering a variety of Scottish foods were places like 508 Tavern, Blue Chip Foods, Celtic Apples, Hearthstone Meat Pies, Legacy Fish & Chips, Oscar Meat Pies, Vista Masonic Lodge and When Pigs Fly BBQ. Meat Pies and Fish & Chips was a choice for our group. The Beer Garden was another popular area filled with the sounds of the Scottish groups performing.
Our grand-daughter is currently taking Scottish dance lessons and is beginning to take part in a number of competitions including the competition at this Highland Game. Highland Dancing competition was a popular event to take in at the Brengle Terrace Gymnasium. Ribbons and trophies were awarded throughout the day in categories ranging from the youngest dancers, ages 4-6, to the more advanced Scottish Highland Dancers categories. All of the contestants were in full Scottish regalia as they performed a number of dances for the judges. Highland Dancing is divided into Highland Fling, The Sword Dance, The Seann Truibhas, Reels and the Sailor’s Hornpipe. Whiskey Tasting Seminars were also held in the gymnasium area.
Another popular event held at the Highland Games is the Scottish Heavy Athletics. Some of the events date back thousands of years to the Clan gatherings. The events were held close to the Clan Gate Entrance, on the lower field. These events included the Weight Toss, the Weight Throw, the Hammer Throw, the Braemar Stone Put, and the Caber Toss. The contests took place throughout the day. Those watching were able to see a number of events going on at once.
Another very popular event to take in was to walk down the pathway toward the Senior Gate Entrance and to enjoy watching the Sheepdog Trials taking place on the hillside. You also passed by the Pipe & Drum area that was set-up. The incredible herding Sheep Dogs are highly trained to obey a series of commands as they herd sheep into pins. The dogs and their masters were competing for a $1,000 purse being offered by the San Diego Scottish Highland Games. The dog handler had to be stationed at an assigned post as the dogs went through the drills of getting the sheep through a series of gates and were penned in the shed (a circular finish line).
The San Diego Scottish Highland Games is a very popular event held in June every year. If you missed this years Games, mark your calendars and go to www.SDHighlandGames.org to find when next years Games will be held. You can also become a member of the San Diego Scottish Highland Games and Gathering of Clans and take part in numerous activities that occur during the year. These include The Annual Robert Burns Supper, Casino Night, Pub Quiz Night, Whiskey Tasting, A Meet and Greet Picnic and much more. Go to the web sit or call 619-572-9951 or email info@SDHighlandgames.org for more information. Single membership is as low as $20.00 and other sponsorships are offered.