56th Anniversary of the Annual Phoenix Scottish Games

Scotland comes the Grand Canyon State during the weekend of March 7th and 8th, 2020 with the 56th annual Phoenix Scottish Games to be held at historic Steele Indian School Park in downtown Phoenix.  You don’t need to be Scottish to enjoy the games featuring full highland pageantry with Pipes & Drums, Highland Dancers, Athletics, Celtic bands and Gathering of the Clans.

You will be treated to a variety of live entertainment, interactive displays and athletic events. The event hosts Highland Dance championship and the Desert Southwest Pipe Band Championship. In addition to dancers and pipe bands, you won’t want to miss performances of traditional folk and bluegrass music with roots in the lowlands and highlands, plus The Wicked Tinkers, Cleghorn and Scot Jeffers in one of the many Four Peaks beer gardens located throughout the festival. Watch as competitors in athletic events make it look easy to throw a log bigger than a telephone pole or toss a hammer farther than you can throw a ball! Events include the Caber Toss, Sheaf Toss, Hammer Throw and “Putting the Stone” with male and female competitors of all ages from across North America.

If the kids want to try their hand at some of these fun events, there will be a “Wee Ones” children’s area featuring a mini-Highland Games with their very own Caber Toss, Hammer Throw with Highland costumes to try on.

All ages will have fun in the Celtic Village, featuring a variety of Celtic merchants with clothing, music instruments, jewelry, baked goods and other traditional culinary delights that you won’t find at any other festival – traditional shortbread cookies, haggis, highland beef dishes and more. There will be Scotch Whisky Tasting where you can enjoy a dram and hear about the whisky making process of each expression. Car lovers can vote for their favorite vintage vehicle at the British Car Display and show.

If you are curious about your heritage, join us in the Clan and Genealogy area. Arizona has over 175,000 Scot, and you could be one of them. Everywhere you look you can see deep ties between Arizona and Scotland. Douglas, Arizona was named for a Canadian-Scotsman, and the Rose Tree Museum in Tombstone Arizona features a rose tree grown from a cutting shipped to a young Scottish bride from her family in Scotland in 1885.

But even if you don’t have any ties to Scotland, you will enjoy yourself at 56th annual Phoenix Scottish Games. As long as you relish good music, food and fun, you’ll have a great time.

The Phoenix Scottish Games are produced by the Caledonian Society of Arizona, the largest Celtic organization in the state, promoting Scottish culture through art, education and athletics. Funds raised at the event supports scholarships to aspiring and professional Highland athletes, musicians and dancers and/or other individuals or organizations whose mission, project or program promotes Scottish heritage.

The Phoenix Scottish Games run from 9 am to 6 pm on Saturday March 7, 2020 and from 9 am to 4 pm on Sunday March 8, 2020.

Single day tickets can be purchased at the gate for $20, or in advance at www.ArizonaScots.com for $17. Add a second day for just $10. Discounted pricing is available for seniors, members of the military and children. See the website for detailed pricing information.

In honor of 56 years of the Phoenix Scottish Games, here are 56 reasons to attend the event:

Athletics

  1. Witness exciting athletic competitions for men and women all day both days
  2. See competitors test their strength in the “Caber Toss”
  3. Hark back to earlier days while you watch the “Sheaf Toss”
  4. Be amazed at the strength of the competitors in the “Stone Put”
  5. Be glad you are not the target of the “Scottish Hammer Throw”
  6. Get out your measuring stick while you watch “Weight over Bar”
  7. Marvel at the ability of the competitors in “Weight for distance”
  8. Be astonished at pageantry of the opening ceremonies of the games
  9. Cheer them on; the winners will go to the world amateur Highland Games championship

Entertainment

  1. Come out early and be there for the Opening Ceremony on Saturday at noon
  2. Don’t miss the Bagpipe Competition with over 8 pipe bands
  3. Enjoy the dancers in the Highland Dancing championship competition
  4. Join us in the big tent for entertainment on the Ghilli Dhu Pub Main Stage
  5. Sing along with the Wicked Tinkers
  6. Don’t miss the “Dogs in Kilts” contest Sat 3pm and Sun 2pm
  7. Get up and dance to the tunes of Scott Jeffers
  8. Clap along with the lively tunes from Stoney Bank
  9. Sit for a bit and enjoy folklore and music at the Learners Arm Stage
  10. Transport yourself back to the old world with Story Telling
  11. Sip on a Kiltlifter and be entertained at the Kiltlifter Tap Room Stage
  12. Walk around the grounds and see Pipe Bands performing at every turn
  13. Be surprised by spontaneous Parades through the festival site
  14. Practice your line dancing (yes really) and enjoy Country dancing on stage

Food & Beverage

  1. Bring your appetite for Meat Pies like you’ll find nowhere else in town
  2. Savor the best Fish n’ Chips in the valley
  3. Quench your thirst in any of the four beer gardens
  4. Stop by the Whisky Tasting tent for a taste of something special
  5. Enjoy Scotch and Chocolate; what a pleasant pair
  6. Taste some local wines at the Wine Tasting booth
  7. Relax for a bit and take the weight off in the Cigar Lounge

Family Activities

  1. Trace your family’s lineage and identify your clan at the Genealogy tent
  2. Meet your clan: there will be representatives on hand from over 56 clans
  3. Take a fun family photo wearing “Highland” apparel at the Photo booth
  4. Watch as re-enactors show us how battles were once fought
  5. Reminisce as you see all the old cars in the British vintage car show
  6. Purchase authentic Scottish Items at the Highland Boutique!!
  7. Plan your trip to Scotland! Get hints and tips at the Travel booth.
  8. Do some shopping at the vendor booths; buy a kilt or Highland apparel

Kid’s Activities

  1. Visit Nessie, the Loch Ness Monster
  2. Try your hand at Mini caber toss.
  3. Pick up a bow and learn the basics of Archery
  4. Capture prizes in the “Duck Pond”
  5. Play a bit of Golf; a sport originating in Scotland
  6. Check out the costumes and be a prince or princess
  7. Sit down for a bit and do an Arts & Crafts project

Fun Outing

  1. Bring the family; there’s lots to do for every age
  2. Don’t leave FIDO at home; we are Pet friendly
  3. Bring money, but don’t spend it on Parking – that’s Free
  4. Leave the car at home; come on the light rail
  5. Save money and buy a two day pass; you won’t want to miss anything
  6. Take advantage of Military and seniors discounts
  7. Bring a lawn chair or blanket; Indian Steele Park is lovely!
  8. Come prepared to enjoy the lovely March weather
  9. Visit with some of the over 156 volunteers who make this event possible
  10. Support a good cause; scholarships for Highland athletes, musicians and dancers
  11. Learn more about the Arizona connection with Scotland!Dust off that kilt and get ready to have some fun. See you there!

Click here to buy tickets, volunteer, and learn more about the event.


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