The Virginia Scottish Games, formally located in Alexandria Virginia to celebrate the Scottish Heritage in the city, the ever increasing size eventually moved the Scottish Games to it’s current location near The Plains Virginia. Every year people of all walks of life come out to enjoy, compete, watch, listen, and taste. This year the threat of a few storm cells past over head, but for those who waited out the weather in their cars or came later in the afternoon, it was an event not to be missed. (http://www.vascottishgames.org/)
The games aren’t just about the competitions. Clan history as well as US based clan information is available. I discovered that my Scottish heritage, although a very small clan, and only about an 8th of my overall blood line, was originally from the border territory and fought against the English, so much so, that at one point majority of the clan were moved to Ireland. Of course I am almost sure that my great-grandmother (known to me as Nana) was born in the US, it is still questionable weather it was her father or grandfather who brought his family over from Dundee. He possibly worked at or owned a ribbon factory. Nana’s father died when she was very young, so for now, those questions will remain unanswered.
Scottish & English goodies are always on sale, although increasingly easier to purchase on regular grocery stores and specialty shops around the metropolitan area these vendors offer everything from chocolate bars to tea, the food venders things like fish & chips, haggis, and my favorite scotch eggs. Most time events like this tend to have light beer, generally Budweiser. But not at these games, Guinness, Harp, Smithwicks and some slightly more local micro-brew, Highland Brewing Company, out of North Carolina. My favorite of the day being the Oatmeal Porter.
If your looking for Celtic or Gaelic jewelry, or a specific tartan, or some new swords and knifes, they are a plenty at the venders here. Although my favorite of the verndors is the Honey vender. They are local Virginian honey farmers Highland Honey in Clifton, Virginia. They have 4 flavors for sampling, and they are all to die for. Recent studies have showed that a spoonful of local honey a day can help increase ones immune system to certain allergies… if it gives me an excuse to eat a spoonful a day, I will try it 😉
Sport of the day… I love highland dancing, men and women of all ages from children through adults come out to compete. As well as stone tosses and hammer throws and many other highland spots. But burly men in kilts and dancing isn’t the only competitions that happen at the Scottish Games, musicians come out to play in single and group competitions. Nothing better then wandering in and out of tents then doing it while listening to the bag pipes!
To end the day they had several musical guests who put on brilliant performances, a favorite of mine being the Glengarry Bhoys from Canada.