PHOENIX - The Glenmorangie Scottish Highland Games is a paid sponsor of Sonoran Living Live
On Saturday & Sunday, March 23 & 24th the Arizona Scottish community and about 20,000 of their closest friends from all corners of the world will gather at Steele Indian School Park in central Phoenix to celebrate their culture.
The Glenmorangie Scottish Highland Games is comprised of many things: world-class athletic competitions, Highland dance, reenactment presentations, educational seminars, clans, food, live music, bag-pipe & drum bands from all over the globe and lots of fun for the wee lads & lasses.
Have you ever seen a big burley man in a kilt toss a telephone-pole-like caber? The tradition of the athletic competition goes back to the days when rival clans or kings would meet. Competitions were organized to keep down the brawling and "street fighting", to impress one's rivals with displays of strength and skill and to gain honor and prestige. The Games came to America with the immigrants but today, the competition is between individuals and not clans. Others believe that they are the tests that were required of squires and other recruits before they were sent to battle. Many of the various athletic strength and skill requirements are the same as those that were required to successfully win a battle against a fortified position, whether it was a Roman night camp or a walled city.
Did you know that the origination of pipe bands comprised of pipers, side drummers, bass drummers and occasionally a tenor drummer occurred sometime after the battle of Waterloo in 1815? Historically, the components of competition among the members of a Pipe Band have fallen into four categories. These competitions are the solo competitions for pipers and drummers, the pipe band competition and the competition for the drum majors. Over the years and for a variety of reasons modifications and local changes have been made to these basic segments but the fundamental categories have remained with little alteration since the early 1900's. They are Solo Piping, Solo Drumming, Drum Major and Pipe Bands. Or how about, that right along with the ancient stories of daring warriors and master pipers you will find dance as a crucial part of celebrations and ceremonies of the Highlands? Nothing can compare with the graceful power of a Highland dancer recalling a glorious victory. Highland dancing is of military origin, some dances such as the Highland fling, dating back to the time of the Roman occupation of ancient Caledonia.
Once considered an athletic event, these solo dances of the Highland men were so vigorous that one had to be in top physical shape to perform them. Most competitors today are female, but the remaining Scottish regiments are still represented by male dancers who continue to perform the traditional dances.
You can even research your family roots at the Games and learn about the significance of a family tartan. "Tartan" is cloth: most kilts are made of tartan. The tartan is one of the two great symbols of Scotland, along with the bagpipes. Each clan has a tartan, sometimes more than one member can be identified by the tartan they wear. In addition to clan and family tartans there are also tartans for districts and special organizations. At the Games you will see the official tartan of the United States Marine Corps along with the Arizona State tartan.
The "Arizona State Tartan" was officially recognized in December, 1995 by a proclamation by the Governor. Colors in the Arizona tartan are green, tan, white, red, black, yellow, and azure, all significant to the state's history. Many Arizona citizens were involved in creating this newest symbol of our State with the common goal of celebrating a part of our Scottish heritage.
While you are attending the Glenmorangie Highland Games this year, make it a point to visit the Clan tents. You will have no problem finding them. Look for brightly colored flags, tartans and banners flying. You'll be as welcome as you can be and you will find many gracious and interested folks who will be more than happy to help you with any questions you might have! The Scots and their descendants are extremely proud of their long and colorful history. If you have any Scottish ancestors you will almost certainly find your family name among the list in one of the Clan tents.
The Wee Ones area this year features a bungy jump, inflatable bounce castle, water activity, arts & crafts, Rugby clinics, and a full-size siege catapult/target practice!
This year's entertainment committee proudly presents one big pub stage (literally, it's set up like a pub) featuring two popular bands: Wicked Tinkers and Angus & DidgeriDrew of Brother.
Prepare yourself for a wild ride with Wicked Tinkers! Pioneers of the growing Tribal Celtic movement, the Tinkers have been playing haunting, heart-pounding bagpipes and irresistible tribal drums as a professional touring band since 1995. With the addition, several years back, of
the mesmerizing drone of the Australian didgeridoo and Bronze Age Irish horn, the magic was complete. Sit back and be transported to an earlier time in Scotland and Ireland, when battle cries filled the air and strange, unheard-of creatures roamed the night. Or better yet, get on your feet and let your body move to ancient rhythms and forgotten sounds.
Don't think this is dry, dusty music for museum shelves - Wicked Tinkers merge the best of modern, almost rock-and-roll energy with the hypnotic, insistent grooves of their Gaelic ancestors. Rare is the bystander who comes away without feeling a surprising, sometimes bewildering connection to long-forgotten primal emotions ... half-memories of ages past and experiences nameless yet somehow familiar. Wicked Tinkers creates music to set your jaw, put a fire in your belly, a glint in your eye and a dance in your feet.
Angus and DidgeriDrew: Brother ~ the duo is known for their hypnotic sounds together, both of them playing several different instruments during a show. Mesmerizing beats blend with didgeridoos, looped guitars and astral keyboards, inspiring listeners to dance and sing. Bagpipes, whistles and vocals weave captivating melodies in the Brother tradition, staying with audiences long after a show.
Another "big" part of the entertainment lineup this year is Christopher Yates! Our favorite red-headed stilt-walking, juggling, magical Scotsman extraordinaire is back again! He'll be roaming about ~ just look for the "crowd" and he'll be right in the center!
Visit with our friends from the British Car Clubs, reenactment groups and Scottish Country dancers who will demonstrate and perform throughout the weekend!
Come hungry! In the mood for some haggis? Fish & chips? Shepherd's Pie? Find all of that (and more) in the food court! Thirsty? Refreshingly icy cold Kiltlifter brew abounds at the Four Peaks Kiltifter beer truck. Friendly servers can't wait to pour you a cold one! Lower ticket price means you have more to spend on gifts and souvenirs! There will be 40 vendors selling an array of Scottish merchandise!
And you can't have a Scottish Games without … well…Scotch! And not just any Scotch ~ but our favorite Glenmorangie Single Malt Scotch has once again partnered with The Caledonian Society making this their fourth year as title sponsor. There's no better way to celebrate Scotland than to do it with people who love Scottish heritage and know how to have some fun with good music, good food and good drink (with drink being the operative word!)" Look for the Glenmorangie Scotch Education tent where the official Scotch Ambassador will educate and be available for scheduled tastings throughout the day.
To buy tickets online click, here. Don't miss the 49th Annual Glenmorangie Scottish Highland Games! We'll see you there! For more info you may also call the Scots Hotline (480) 788-6694.
The Glenmorangie Scottish Highland Games is a paid sponsor of Sonoran Living Live