Virginia Scottish Gamestake place every year in The Plains, VA. This year was 45th Anniversary of the games. It was packed with entertainment, competitions and fun for two days. There were athletic events, music and dancing competitions, Clan Parade, Band Parade, and lots more. The day was filled with lots to do, with special events for children to keep the youngsters occupied.
However, some kids were proudly taking part in the main events. This little fellow in the picture on the left, marched proudly with the bands across the big field.
Opening Ceremony was preceded by the Clan Parade. This year it looked a little different than in previous years as the narrow entrance to the athletic field became even narrower with bands gathering to enter the field after the Clan Parade. However, nobody seemed to mind and everyone found their way.
As the clans were leaving the athletics field, the bands entered marching up to the top of the field.
The bagpipers and drummers marched up and then down the field after doing an elaborate turn in the middle of the field. And as you can see above, the little bagpiper is marching on with the band! Keeping up with the grownups could not have been easy but he did not seem concerned or distracted.
Music was all around even after the Band Parade finished. There were bagpipers practicing, playing, bands were practicing some more for the competition.
There were also live music performances and included Glengarry Bhoys, Chambless & Muse and Glencoe Lads and Friends. For the lovers of fiddling, there were fiddling performances as well in a fiddling tent not far from the Highland dance competition.
Dance competition was tough with the sky clearing, and temperatures increasing, it got very hot very quickly. Dancers were sweating it out on and off the competition floor. Below are just some of the images from the competition. While waiting for their turn come competitors were going over the steps in their heads and moved hands in the air as if they were the feet.
I tried to capture dancing action from the competition. These are just some of the shots I took, trying to illustrate a range of movements on the dance floor.
As Athletics is an integral part of the games there was lots of action on the field: heavy weight toss, light weight toss, caber toss and sheaf toss. With so many events going on, I did not get around to all of them but here are some of the images from the weight toss events.
You can see more images from the Virginia Scottish Games on my website. If you are interested in using any of the images or if you like your own photos please contact me.
Labor Day weekend was the time to go and seen what the Scottish are up to in Virginia. And there was plenty to see at The Plains: athletics, highland dancing, bag pipe bands, clan parade, sheep dog demonstrations and much more.
This was my second time at the games and I enjoyed every moment of them. One of the highlights in my eyes was fencing demonstration from the Virginia Academy of Fencing. As you see, starting early is a key to become a good fencer.
However, you get a bit more fun when you can actually pick up the sword.
Learning to defend yourself can actually take some time. I should know, used to fence a little some time ago. If you never tried it, go for it. Fencing is a cool sport, can leave you with some bruises but it will teach you some valuable lessons. There were also other opportunities to explore sword fighting and get a personal introduction.
Central stage of the games were the athletics events: stone toss, heavy weight toss, hammer throw, caber toss, sheaf toss and weight over bar. The caber toss in amateur competition ended in a tie and had to be broken by attempting to toss the professional caber! It was definitely fun to watch. It takes three men to get this caber upright and only one guy to toss it.
The athletics field became for some time a central stage for the Clan Parade. Capturing the marching clans was an interesting task, as you wanted not to be stepped on while sitting on the grass. Here is a mosaic composed from the parade and a few special shots that seem to warm the heart.
The parade was closed by the pipe bands marching down the center as well. One of the bands turned away from me but the second was heading right for me! So a quick scramble to get away.
Pipe bands sounded great and created a great atmosphere. Although not everybody agreed with that statement!
It has been very hot over the weekend so being able to rest a little was a good thing. One place where you could rest was under a big tree to see the sheep dog demonstrations. The sheep and dogs did not seem to mind the weather as much as people did. There was plenty of action to watch with amazing explanations as to what is really happening.
If you were tired and thirsty, there was plenty of drinks to enjoy, great lemonade, beer and you could always pick up some tea pots and make your own. Sit back and relax.
Finally, there were some pretty spectacular participants and some famous people, OK not really people, but still famous cut-outs.