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Scotland, or Something Close to It: Highland Games 2014

Charleston Scottish Games and Highland Gathering at Boone Hall
This weekend, I didn't go to Scotland, but I got as close as I could without getting on a plane. After two long years of waiting, I made it back to the Charleston Scottish Games!

Landon and I went for the first time back in 2010 and had a blast. We skipped 2011 since we were saving up for a trip to Scotland that November. When we went in 2012, I was very early in my pregnancy with Britton, but still had a good time. We didn't make it last year since Britton was only a few months old, Landon had to be out of town for work, and everyone else was busy. 

This year, we made sure to pencil a trip to Boone Hall for the 41st Scottish Games and Highland Gathering.


Saturday dawned grey and unseasonably cool for Charleston--the weather made us feel as if we could possibly be in Scotland! (Too bad that I'd hear a Charleston accent just as I'd convinced myself that I was in the land o' Rabbie Burns.)

Charleston Scottish Games 2014

We made a full day of it since we had a showing on our house mid-afternoon and didn't want to head around the house while Britton tore it back up.

Oh, just a baby in a kilt. Nothing to see here, folks.

While tearing apart what we've just cleaned up is one of her favorite pastimes, Britton seemed to enjoy the sights and sounds and tastes at the games, too!

Let me consult my pamphlet for today's activities.


There were bagpipes a-piping everywhere. We made sure to find a good spot for the Opening Ceremony, and Britton waved and danced all the way through the massed band opener.

Charleston Scottish Games 2014
Having 300+ bagpipers marching towards you is equal parts awesome and terrifying.
We also stopped by a few of the massed band competitions that were happening throughout the day. I know some people think that bagpipes sound like dying cattle, but I love them!

Charleston Scottish Games 2014

There was eating. There was sheep dog herding. And there was a photo op with the queen. I call that a day well spent.

Waving to all of the peasants


I wore the Royal Stewart kilt that I bought while I was in Scotland back in 2011, and Britton wore the dress we bought on that same trip. She hadn't even been though of during the trip, so it was a gift for our niece.


The tartan on the dress is that of the McLeod clan since that's the family my niece's mom (my sister-in-law) comes from. When Logan, my niece grew out of the dress, my brother- and sister-in-law handed it down to Britton. Basically, we were repping a clan that we're only sort of related to, but hey, we're all Scottish at heart, right? (I actually am Scottish, and I hail from a sept of the Buchanan clan, but I'm too cheap to buy a full on Buchanan kilt for me or dress for Britton.)

Charleston Scottish Games 2014
Sir, you are going to throw your back out if you keep that up.
The Scottish Games are held every September at the Boone Hall Plantation in Mount Pleasant, so if you ever find yourself on a trip during that time, I'd highly recommend penciling it in. With your entrance ticket, you get access to all of the concerts, dancing and piping competitions, and genealogy tents, as well as admission to the Boone Hall grounds and house tour. 

Have you ever been to a Scottish Games? What local fall festival or event do you look forward to each year?