Edinboro Highland Games celebrate beauty, brawn of Scottish culture

08/31/2022

Opening Ceremonies

28th annual Highland Games & Scottish Festival kicks off Sept. 8

EDINBORO, Pa. – PennWest Edinboro’s picturesque campus will be filled with the colorful traditions of Scotland during the 28th annual Highland Games & Scottish Festival, Sept. 8-10.

Featuring world-class musicians, Celtic vendors, the national Scottish fiddle championship, highland dance performances, harp workshops, athletic competitions, clan gatherings, kids’ crafts and games and traditional Scottish food, the festival serves as a tribute to Edinboro’s founders and ongoing celebration of the history and traditions of Scotland.

“Edinboro’s Scottish heritage is part of what makes our campus and surrounding community so unique and special,” said Katie Spangenberg, festival director and PennWest director of Global Education. “There’s no better way to celebrate our roots than with three fun-filled days of bagpipes, kilts, games and so much more.”

Edinboro’s Planetarium will kick off the three-day cultural celebration at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 8, with an exploration of Celtic-based constellations and a comparison of the night skies over Edinboro and Edinburgh, Scotland.

Part of the Planetarium’s fall 2022 lineup, the show – “The sky above Edinburgh... or is that Edinboro... or; what difference does it make anyway?” – will be held in Cooper Science Center room 169. All planetarium programming is free and open to the public, but reservations are required.

Festivities continue Friday, Sept. 9, with a fiddle workshop at 6 p.m. in Frank G. Pogue Student Center room 143, followed at 7 p.m. by the regional qualifier fiddle competition in Scot Cinema. Weather permitting, Friday activities conclude with a free outdoor screening of “Brave” on the lawns behind Pogue Student Center. Set in the Highlands of Scotland, the 2012 animated film by Disney’s Pixar Animation Studios is being presented in partnership with the Borough of Edinboro.

The main festival events and games will be held throughout Saturday, Sept. 10, on the Edinboro campus, around McComb Fieldhouse at the corner of Scot and Scotland roads, and at the adjacent Pogue Student Center.

The beer garden (presented by Lake Erie Ale Trail) on the McComb Fieldhouse lawns, opens at 11 a.m. 

Musical performances will fill the air throughout the day, while burly athletes toss various weighty objects as part of the ever-popular heavy athletic competitions. Those events include the caber toss, hammer, stone and 56-pound weights for height and distance. 

“We’re excited to host all of our events in person for the first time since COVID-19 began,” Spangenberg said. “New this year, visitors will have a chance to interact with musicians during a special harp workshop at the gazebo.”

An array of high-quality vendors will be on hand, selling clothing, jewelry, glassware and other goods. Scottish and American food vendors will offer sausage rolls, meat pies, shepherd’s pie, chicken dinners, kettle corn, cookies, desserts and more. 

The full schedule of Saturday’s events will run from approximately 9 a.m. until 4 p.m., followed by the Ceilidh (kay-lee) dinner and music by the Chelsea House Orchestra from 5-9 p.m. in the Van Houten North Dining Room. The cost of the Ceilidh, which includes a full Scottish dinner and an address to the Haggis, is $30 per person. All other festival events are free and open to the public.

Events will go on, rain or shine, with alternate locations set in case of inclement weather. Full festival information is available on the website at www.edinboro.edu/events/highland-games.

Let the Games begin!