Things to Do

San Antonio Highland Games and Celtic Music Festival April 1-2

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Put on your kilt and bagpipes – or at least some plaid – and check out the San Antonio Highland Games and Celtic Musical Festival on April 1 and 2. The annual event is held each spring and hosts more than 30 Scottish clans. Attendees can see if their family name has Scottish roots, learn about their clan, and even join their clan. The Highland Games features both male and female athletes from all over the world competing in feats of strength such as the caber toss, sheaf toss, weight over bar, weight for distance, hammer throw, and stone put. Several world records have been set at the San Antonio Highland Games, the festival website says, adding that patrons can also interact with living history displays including Vikings, a World War II Scottish Soldier, the Sons of Confederate Veterans, a Village Weaver, Archers, Artisans, and Iron Age re-enactors.  

The Music

San Antonio Highland Games and Music Festival

Photo: Facebook/San Antonio Highland Games

Celtic music takes various forms at the festival including Celtic rock, traditional Scottish and Irish tunes, folk music, bluegrass, harp, bagpipes, and more at two music stages and a Celtic jam session tent. A Highland dance competition, scheduled for Saturday, typically draws more than 70 competitors from all across Texas and as far away as Nevada and Tennessee, the website says. The dancers compete in up to eleven dances in a multitude of categories. Festival patrons can also watch Scottish Highland Dancing, Scottish Country Dancing, and Irish Dancing exhibitions at various times over the weekend. The 2017 lineup includes The Selkie Girls, Young Dubliners, Michael Harrison, Dram Beauties, Ravenmoor, O’Malarkey, and Mad Dog and Jamie.

The Food

San Antonio Highland Games and Music Festival

Photo: Facebook/San Antonio Highland Games

Scottish food such as haggis, shepherd’s pie, and Highland beef will be offered at several food vendor options, and more traditional American food will also be available. Celtic merchants will be on site selling kilts, jewelry, t-shirts, handmade crafts and other items. Other events at the Highland Games and Celtic Music Festival include sheep herding trials, Scottish history seminars, Scottish cooking demonstrations, and a Bonnie Knees competition.  Families can take their children to the Kid’s Glen where they can do crafts, listen to storytelling, and learn about Scottish history and culture.

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