Highland Games set to take over Edinboro University

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By Grace Lehrian
News Editor/The Spectator

Edinboro University will host the 21st Annual Edinboro Highland Games and Scottish Festival from Sept. 5 to Sept. 7. For a few days every year, Edinboro shows its Scottish pride by inviting 13 Scottish clans, and many other musical and dance groups, to partake in traditional Scottish activities.

At least five states are represented at the games and even some groups from Canada journey to Edinboro to join in on the festivities. The festival begins with Scottish and Celtic harp music at 3 p.m. on Friday at Goodell Gardens located at 221 Waterford Street.

With some fiddling in between events, there will be a bonfire at 8 p.m. at the Gazebo Lawn, where the calling of the clans will take place.
The excitement of the events on Friday is just a small preview to the day long schedule that is planned for Saturday.

Saturday’s events start at 8 a.m. on the lawns of McComb Fieldhouse, where students will be able to enjoy the sounds of bagpipes filling the air. There will be bagpipe and fiddle competitions throughout the day, centrally located at or around McComb. The closing ceremony is to take place at 4:30 p.m. and is followed by a Ceilidh dinner at 6 p.m.

The event itself is free to all who wish to participate, but there is a parking donation that is encouraged to all off-campus participants, and the Ceilidh dinner has a fee. There will be vendors of all sorts in the lawns behind McComb along with traditional athletic competitions.

An event such as this can not be planned overnight, though. Dr. Tim Thompson, the Festival Director for the Highland Games, is very excited about the events occurring this year. “They are part of our identity,” said Thompson, “Being founded by Scots, the university and the town were founded by Scots, and we kind of keep that tradition alive. It teaches people intercultural lessons and gives an intercultural education.”

He went on to explain that the Highland Games are “kept alive” by those who are not in Scotland. Thompson used the word “spectacular” to describe events such as the opening ceremonies. He would encourage all student to come and experience this “unique” event.

All events are planned to take place rain or shine.

The amount of effort it takes to put together an event like the Highland Games, though, is not something that one man can do alone. Thompson is hoping to form a group on campus that is dedicated to organizing and finding volunteers for the Games. Thompson encourages anyone who is interested in participating in the group for next year to contact him, at tthompson@edinboro.edu.

Grace Lehrian is the news editor at The Spectator. She can be reached at eupnews.spectator@gmail.com.