Every year for one weekend in the spring a wee bit of Scotland comes to the west coast of Florida – the annual Dunedin Highland Games. The mournful cry of the bagpipes call to all whether ye be Scottish in blood or just in spirit.
This year (2016) the games take place the weekend of March 31st thru Saturday April 2nd and will commemorate 50 years of the games’ existence. It is a celebration of all things Scottish.
Schedule of Events:
- Pipers on the Pier, Saturday, March 26, 5:30 pm Weaver Park, Bayshore Boulevard along Dunedin’s waterfront – Free event kicking off the Highland Games week. There will be highland dancing and 50 Pipers on the Weaver Park Pier at sunset! Bring lawn chairs. Vendors, food and drink available for purchase.
- Celidh in Pioneer Park, Downtown Dunedin, Thursday, March 31st – A free concert by Off Kilter (of Epcot Center fame) a high energy rock band with bagpipes.
- Pipe Band March, Friday, April 1st through the streets of Downtown Dunedin starting at 6:30pm – At least 16 bands have signed up so far.
- Tartan Clan Reception, Friday, April 1st – At the Dunedin Scottish Arts Foundation Hall, 1134 Douglas Avenue in downtown Dunedin. The reception will be held at 7:30 pm, immediately after the Pipe Band March. This ticketed event is open to the public. Ceremonial Scottish and evening dress required.
- DHG Trail Run 5K, Saturday April 2, 9am. for runners of all skill levels.
The main event at Highlander Park on Michigan Avenue from 8:30am to 8pm features:
- Watch as handsome brawny lads compete in athletic feats of strength – caber (Yes, the telephone pole thing to the non-Scottish) toss, sheaf toss, hammer throw and tug-of-war.
- Highland Dancing Competitions on the main stage
- Individual piping and drumming and Pipe and Drum Corp competitions
- Parade of the Clans
- Sheep herding demonstration
- Kids Fun Zone – Haggis Toss, “Mini” Caber Toss, “Mini” Sheaf Toss and old-fashioned Sack Races, face painting and balloon artist for the “wee Brauns.”
- Entertainment by Seven Nations
- Beer Tent – Sample beers from all over the British Isles
- All manner of food and Celtic merchandise available.
Tickets are $16 in advance, $18 at the gate. Children 12 & under are free. Please no pets and no coolers. For more information, visit their website at http://dunedinhighlandgames.com/.
It’s sure to be a fun day for all. Hope to see you there!