Saturday, July 26, 2008

A Day at the Highland Games

If there's ever an excuse to go to Enumclaw (if you're not into horses), this is it. I've been looking forward to the Highland Games for months now. You must understand, I don't have any Celtic blood, but I've always loved the Celtic traditions. Heck, even the wedding ring I chose has a Celtic Trinity Knot engraved in it. So, what's better than watching ultra-buff men wearing kilts and tossing cabers? Nothing.

Caber Tossing

First off, let me say that I had NO idea how big this event was. We're all driving down the road, and when you get close to the games, BAM! Cars and people and RVs and tents are everywhere! Oh, BTW, if you're planning on going and are reading this, make sure you have cash. They don't take cards for entry, and the ATM line is always 30 minutes long.

The Highland Games themselves consist of several events: caber toss, some weight throwing thing, the hammer toss, some other weight throwing over a goal post thing, and shoving a 20 pound sheaf with a pitchfork. Come on! Are these the best kinds of games you could ever have? I think so! When are these going to be in the Olympics? That was good stuff. Harrison Bailey was THE MAN in the sheaf throwing. Dude, he hucked the sheaf over 33 feet. Amazing.

Harrison Bailey Prepping for the Sheaf Toss

Afterwards, we wandered through some shops and found a spot to watch the closing of day 1 with the Massing of the Pipes and Drums. That was quite a spectacle to see a dozen or so pipe bands march in unison. Then, they all played Amazing Grace. Wow.

A couple of interesting notes from the games. Most of the men in traditional Scottish attire carry daggers in their socks. There were a lot of leather shops. I did not know that they wore so much leather in 80 degree weather. I've never seen so many weapons for sale in such close proximity.

There were some parties at the end of the day, but we had Luke and Deonn's pregnant, so what's the point? Next year, we totally plan on going back and drinking and celebrating Celtic style!

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