It’s that time of year again…on Saturday, our whole clan drove out to Chesterfield for the St. Louis Scottish games! Yes, this was a change of venue, as it was previously held in Forest Park. I won’t lie, we missed to the old location, but that wasn’t because there was anything wrong with the Chesterfield location itself…it was just farther away from us, and not accessible by MetroLink, so it took longer to get there, which was not pleasant, especially given the traffic on the Poplar Street Bridge that day.
The first thing we did upon arriving was watch some of the athletics. The caber toss is always my favorite:
We also saw the sheaf toss:
And the weight over the bar:
And a little more caber toss, just because it’s so cool to watch!
We also saw all of the trophies lined up, waiting to be awarded. This was the first year that the Masters World Championships were held at the St. Louis Scottish Games, so there were a lot more awards than we’ve seen in the past!
One of my favorite parts of the Scottish Games is the highland dancers (accompanied by a bagpiper, of course!):
While the bagpipers are the most prevalent (and loudest!) musicians at the Scottish Games, there are other opportunities to hear music as well, including the Celtic rock band Cleghorn, and lots of folk music:
The food is one of the whole family’s favorite parts (of course!). There are always tons of people in this area, and really long lines, but they move unbelievably quickly. We all had our favorites, including fish and chips, a cornish pastie, and shepherd’s pie. Plus, Schlafly’s special-event, 80 Schilling beer!
We saw a lot of different animals, including birds of prey, sheep (and sheep herding), and cows:
The children always love the dog parade. There seemed to be less dogs this year than we’ve seen in the past, but we still saw all of our favorite breeds. I love the really big dogs, including the Irish Wolfhounds, Scottish Deerhounds, and Airedales! And we all love the Scottish Terriers with their adorable beards!
The Parade of Tartans is always great to watch. I love seeing all of the different clans in their unique plaids, some carrying banners, come together, and then parade around the ceremonies field led by bagpipers and drummers, and a colour guard:
We also enjoy visiting all of the tents belonging to the clans, and learning a little bit about each of them while the children collect their stamps:
There’s plenty of things for the children to do, in addition to collecting stamps, in the children’s area, and spread throughout the festival grounds:
The best part, though, is seeing the great love of Scotland and Scottish heritage everywhere you look!
This is definitely one of the highlights of the year for our family. Maybe one of these years, I’ll do some research, and figure out Ryan’s Scottish heritage, so we know which clan is “ours!”