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When: Sunday, August 16, 2020 / Games 10 am – 6 pm (gates open 9:30 am)
Where: Market Park, in the center of Crieff
Cost: Purchase online or at gate. / Adult early bird £11 / Family tickets available
Parking: Braidhaugh playing fields – Free / Free Shuttle Bus
Music Festival: Saturday, August 15, 2020 1 pm – 7 pm / Separate ticket required
What Events Are At The Crieff Highland Gathering?
Highland Games Of Strength And Agility
Crieff Highland Gathering takes place on a giant sports field, Market Park. In the center, giants throw stones, logs and mammoth hammers to show their strength; and it is impressive.
Crieff Highland Gathering Caber Toss
Arguably, the most impressive display of strength at the games is the caber toss. The competitors lift massive telephone poles to about waist level. Once steady, they take what looks like a painful jog forward. Stopping suddenly, the pole launches into the air. The pole must flip so the top hits the ground and then lays straight in front of the competitor. In other words, the pole must lay in a 12:00 position, with the bottom of the pole facing the top of the clock and away from the competitor. Few are able to make this perfect throw.
Crieff Highland Gathering Hammer Throw
It’s hard to think of this being any more dangerous, but traditionally it was. You may have seen old footage of someone spinning around and around with the hammer before letting ago. To minimize the hammer flying in the audience, participants must swing the hammer over their head before letting go over their shoulder.
Throwing the Weight and Shot
Very similar events include the Putting the Shot and Throwing the Weight. The shot is done for distance, but the weight is done for height and another throw for distance.
Tug Of War
Remember lining up in gym class for tug of war? Teams of eight, battle it out on the field by pulling the flag in the center of the rope past their line.
Other Events At The Crieff Highland Games
Dancers of various age groups, from little tots to older teens, show their colors and dancing skills in traditional attire. Jumping and swinging to the sounds of the bagpipe, it’s fun to watch and a popular event.
Track & Field
Whirling around the outer field, cycling races and various sprints and relays keep onlookers entertained through the day.
Chieftains Parade & The Marching Bands
“Chieftain” is an honorary title given to a worthy person each year, typically a Scottish celebrity or sports person. Historically, the Chieftain was a leader of a clan, and the Highland Games were a way for the Chieftan to test the strengths of his clan.
Around 11 am the Chieftan’s Parade starts in the city and proudly marches it’s way into the arena. You’ll hear them coming. It’s a fantastic display of color, sound and heritage.
What to bring to the Crieff Highland Gathering?
Scotland’s weather is very changeable, so we recommend layering your clothes. Mornings and evenings, even in summer, can be quite cool. You may get lucky with a warm afternoon, but more likely you’ll run into a little rain. Bring a brolly or at least a rain jacket.
With no stands or seating in the general admission areas, most visitors bring a blanket or beach chairs to sit on. You may want to consider a cheap waterproof tarp to put under it.
Food and drinks are available in the event.
No kilts required, but if you participate in the Tartan Dash kilt race, you’ll want to at least wear a tartan skirt.
We hope you enjoy the Scottish Highland Games as much as us. What else would you recommend including on a checklist of Everything You Must Do While In Scotland?