June saw Crieff Highland Gathering’s biannual trip to our sister Highland Games in Wellington Ohio. Chairman Dave Gillies, accompanied by Iain Boag, Ian Stewart and Colin Crawford, exchanged this year’s wet and dismal June weather for the searing 32 degree Celsius of Wellington Ohio.
The games are held in the massive 400 acre site of the Lorain County Fairground and encompass traditional events such as a Pipe Band Competition, Heavyweights, Track Events, Gaelic Mod and Highland Dancing with less traditional events such as a Harp and Fiddle Competitions, Classic Cars, Classic Motorcycles, Gaelic Rock Concert and livestock judging.
Chairman Mike Mihalic and is team are to be congratulated on managing a spectacular event which attracted 24,000 people to the fairground.
As with Crieff Highland Games, the monies raised are for the purpose of maintaining the traditional Scottish Arts, and in the case of Ohio they have formed the Ohio Scottish Arts School. In 2011, 144 students from 22 states and Canada attended a one week residential course at Oberlin College Campus with classes for dancing, fiddle, harp, piping and drums.
The Ohio Scottish Games started with a traditional march past of 17 pipe bands. The capacity crowd in the grandstand were then treated to a Heavyweight competition in the arena. An unusual twist this year was the addition of a female heavyweight championship! It remains to be seen whether this is something that will be embraced by the Scottish Games Association!
The Crieff delegation were warmly welcomed and treated as highly honoured guests. a great trip was had with outstanding fellowship demonstrated everywhere we went. It now follows that the directors of Crieff Highland Gathering will analyse in greater detail what additional events we could accommodate in an effort to attract more visitors to the Games and Crieff.