Thursday, 11 October 2018 05:03

Scotland County Highland Games

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Bill Caudill, Coordinator of Highland Games Bill Caudill, Coordinator of Highland Games Photograph by J.A. Bolton

LAURINBURG - Last week-end Scotland County hosted their largest tourism event of the year. It was the tenth anniversary of the Scotland County Highland Games.

The event started at 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 5th with a whiskey tasting and "in-gathering" at the Storytelling Arts Center in downtown Laurinburg. As the evening went by, the event moved to St. Andrews University with a clan reception and a piping concert.

Saturday’s events were held on the grounds of the beautiful N.C. Rural Heritage Center (John Blue Complex) just out of Laurinburg. These events included all types of Scottish athletic games (heavy weight throw; Scottish hammer throw; turning of the caber; sheaf toss; and weight over bar). Other competitions included piping, drumming, Highland dance, and harping. Sheep dog demonstrations were held twice during the day and entertainment from the many stages around the center made for a wonderful day.

Sunday’s event, Kirkin’ of the Tartans Worship Service, was held at the Old Laurel Hill Presbyterian Church located on McFarland Road. This church was founded in 1797 by some of the many Highland Scots that had migrated up the Cape Fear River and even into the Pee Dee River valley.

No large event can happen without good leadership and volunteers. After the Flora MacDonald Highland Games discontinued after thirty years in near-by Red Springs, Mr. Bill Caudill of Scotland County was asked to take a leadership role in bringing the games to Scotland County.  With lots of help from vice-chair Beacham McDougald, the Scottish American Community, Scotland County Tourism Development Authority, and with many sponsors and volunteers, the Scotland County Highland Games became a reality.

One of the highlights of the Scottish Games is the opening ceremony. This year there was a surprise element in the procedure: Ms. Carol McCall and others presented Mr. Bill Caudill with a plaque from the state of N.C. This award was the prestigious “Order of the Long Leaf Pine” for his service in the local community. Mr. Caudill said, “It is my greatest hope on this 10th Anniversary that we have started something that will continue to celebrate the Scottish cultural heritage of this region for many years to come.”

 

 

Last modified on Wednesday, 10 October 2018 21:46