The Utah Scottish Festival & Highland Games

Article featured in Diddlyi Magazine.
06.16.10

On Saturday The Shelley School of Irish Dance had a performance at The Utah Scottish Festival & Highland Games. We dance at the festival every year and I always enjoy this show more than a lot of others we do.

We did a half hour show to a crowd that gradually grew rather larger as people took turns noticing the sounds of stomping feet when passing by our small stage. I was the only Championship dancer who attended the show, so I had quite a few eyes on me as I danced solos of Treble Jig, Reel, Slip Jig, and even The Rambling Rake without background music. I think the crowd enjoyed hearing the rhythms without music. It was a lot of fun!

After the show I walked around taking in all the other activities that were going on. There must have been at least 20 bag pipe bands marching the park all throughout the day. I really love to watch the talented drummers twirl their drumsticks with flawless precision.

My favorite thing to watch however, are The Highland Games. Men dressed in traditional kilts hurl large heavy weights as far as they are able. The judges then decide which competitor threw their weight the farthest. Another event that attracted a large crowd was a competition which involved hurling a heavy bail of hay with a pitch fork as high as the men could possibly muster. Some of the men were able to clear over 100 feet!

I’m very proud to be a part of this festival every year. I feel very privileged to be someone who’s helping to carry on Celtic traditions in Utah.

What kind of Irish/Scottish Festivals are held where you live?
Does anyone know some of the history behind The Highland Games?

Article written by Shelly Allen
Photo by Shelly Allen Photography

TAGS: bag, dance, entertainment, Event, festival, games, highland, Irish, kilt, pipe, point, scottish, thanksgiving, Utah

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