Grandfather Mountain Highland Games

Great Scot! For the past six decades, Grandfather Mountain’s MacRae Meadows has celebrated everything Scottish at its annual Grandfather Mountain Highland Games and Gathering of the Scottish Clans.

Held each year in July, the Highland Games attracts tens of thousands of Gaelic culture enthusiasts for four days of fun, food, competitive games, dance and live music.

Athletic competitions at the Highland Games include a marathon, “The Bear” (a 5-mile race featuring 1500 feet of climb), hammer throw, weight toss, caber toss, turning the sheaf, highland wrestling and the kilted mile run.

You don’t need to be Scottish to enjoy the incredible entertainment at the Highland Games, which features some of the best traditional and contemporary Celtic bands in North America.

The Highland Games also provide a valuable community service by raising much needed scholarship funds for Avery County High School students seeking to further their educations.

For more information on the Highland Games, call (828) 733-1333.

  • Staff Report
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The village of Gordon south of Edinburgh in Berwickshire is the earliest documented Scottish home of the Gordons. Adam Gordon was granted land in Long-Gordon in Berwickshire by Malcolm III, and in 1093 Adam fought with him and died by his side at the Battle of Alnwick. The Border Gordons rem…

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Summertime in the Western North Carolina High Country is a good time for festivals of all kinds and stripes.

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The founder of the Leslie family was a Hungarian named Bartolf, or Bartholomew, who came to Scotland with Edgar Atheling and his sisters, including the Princess Margaret (Saint Margaret) who became the wife of Malcolm Canmore. Bartolf became a great favourite at the Scottish Court, and marri…

  • By Justin Grimes
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One might say that this year’s honoured guest to the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games has a firm grip on things. As Chief of Clan Leslie, whose motto is “Grip Fast,” the Honorable John Alexander Leslie of Edinburgh, Scotland, says he is delighted to be attending the Games for the first ti…

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Thousands of spectators converge on MacRae Meadows every year for the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games. People come to celebrate Celtic culture, for the music, the gathering of the clans, but ultimately we’re here for the games.

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Grandfather Mountain Highland Games concessions offer a wide variety of food and beverages. Give haggis a try if you are feeling particularly Scottish, but there will also be plenty of less adventurous, but equally delicious fare from local and national vendors.

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Highland Games aren’t highland games without the sound of bagpipes and drums rolling over the hills. This year, the music lineup at the Games features both new acts and returning favorites for an eclectic mix of Celtic artists to perform in two different music venues. Get ready to kick up yo…

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Visitors attending Grandfather Mountain Highland Games cannot help but notice a number of young people who work the grounds, pick up trash, manage children’s tents and numerous additional responsibilities throughout the Games weekend.

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For a wee fee, you can experience all the 59th annual Grandfather Mountain Highland Games has to offer, from pipers and pageantry to haggis and herding sheep. Officials make the Games as affordable as possible for the family, with separate adult and children pricing.

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