Of Scottish descent or just a fan? Then the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games are for you! Scheduled for July 7th through the 10th, 2016, the 61st annual return of The Grandfather Games promises three days of tartan plaids, food, music, and athletic prowess!
The annual Grandfather Mountain Highland Games and Gathering of Scottish Clans has been held on Grandfather Mountain, near Linville, NC, since 1956. Modeled after the several hundred year old tradition of the Braemar Games in Scotland, the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games have been called “the American Braemar.”
North Carolina has been home to large population of Scottish people since 1746 when the Battle of Culloden left many Scottish clans with nowhere to live in their own country. When the government offered land and tax exemptions to these displaced Highland Scots, North Carolina became a sort of second Scottish homeland. A great many Scots people have called North Carolina their home ever since.
While a relatively small gathering in those early days, the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games now claim to be one of the largest gathering of Scottish clans in the world! Thousands of Scots and their friends gather at MacRae Meadows on Grandfather Mountain each summer to revel in the sound of bagpipes and kettledrums and to join in or enjoy watching the athletic competition of the games.
As it is one of the largest such gatherings, the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games attract serious athletes to their games, a septathlon of sorts that includes a hammer throw, weight toss, caber toss, sheaf toss, Highland wrestling, the kilted mile run, and a clan tug-o-war. There’s also “The Bear,” a grueling, 13 mile hill run up Grandfather Mountain – a 1,568-foot elevation change!
The Grandfather Mountain Highland Games also include other events and attractions, such as Piping and rumming competitions, dancing competitions, the Parade of Tartans, border collie sheepherding demonstrations, Celtic entertainment, and a popular open-air market with Gaelic food and gift items. You can even trace your Scottish roots to learn more about your Highland heritage – don’t miss it!
The 2016 Grandfather Mountain Highland Games
July 7 – 10 – MacRae Meadows, Grandfather Mountain, NC
For a full listing of events, entertainment, times, tickets, and directions, be sure to visit gmhg.org
Grandfather Mountain Highland Games Lodging
North Lodge on Oakland Bed & Breakfast Inn is located on a quiet residential street just one mile from downtown Asheville, NC. Soak up some Southern hospitality during your North Carolina getaway with a stay at our Asheville b&b and reap the benefits of in-room flat screen TVs and massages, peaceful gardens, and delicious, hearty breakfasts!