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Wrestling in Kilts: Catch the Highland Games on Grandfather Mountain

The sounds of the bagpipes along with many stellar athletes, dancers, musicians, and even sheep herders are soon to return to Grandfather Mountain for the 62nd year of the Highland Games. Capturing the heart of Scottish culture, the games will be held from July 6-9 featuring an array of vendors with a Scottish twist.

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Regarded as America’s finest gathering of Scottish Clans, the games are held in and around a large field area where vigorous competition in Scottish sports such as Clachneart, Hammer Throw, and Caber Toss. Competition runs wild while simultaneously the crowd and competitors experience a camaraderie of sharing and having joy in the traditions and culture that the games are all about. Outside of athletics, there are even competitions for the best musician of specific instruments like the Celtic harp and Scottish fiddle along with competitions for Highland Dancing, a form of dance that is known for combining the strength of an athlete with the artistry of a dancer.

This year also marks the 50th anniversary of the Grandfather Mountain Marathon, which finishes at the top of the mountain amid the cheering crowds of the Highland Games festivities.

Get your chance to take in the sights of the incredible athletes, the sounds of the traditional instruments, and the smells of the food pouring from this cultural experience in just three weeks in the heart of North Carolina’s mountains. For more information on admission fees, pet policy, and schedule of events, head over the the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games official webpage.


For a taste of the experience, below is a short clip from the 2015 games.

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