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Edinboro Highland Games & Scottish Festival
Moved to July!
July 24-25, 2009
The Edinboro Highland Games is a three day festival that celebrates Scottish heritage through a series of special performances and events. Enjoy the athletic events, the Highland Dance Competition and the thrilling sound of the marching pipe bands. There will be fantastic wares offered for sale from stained glass and pewter to hand-thrown pottery. There will also be a delightful variety of Scottish musicians playing traditional folk music and performing throughout the festival. Edinboro University provides the perfect venue for The Games by the campus lake and presents a wonderful opportunity for the whole family to enjoy a day of traditional Scots Faire. Come Join Us and Celebrate our Scottish Heritage.
Heavy Athletic Events
The Caber Toss
The caber is a wood pole or log measuring about 20 feet and weighing 100-150 lbs. From a crouching position, an athlete lifts the caber by the narrower end, while its thicker, more unwieldy end points skyward, and then runs to build up momentum. He stops dead and heaves it end over end to achieve a "twelve o-clock turn," so the caber lands pointing away from the thrower at a 12 o'clock position. The Caber Toss is scored on accuracy rather than the distance of the throw. A side judge will sometimes be used to determine if the caber rotated through 90 degrees. A caber that fails to flip is not recorded. A judge runs behind the athlete and if the toss is successful he calls it with an imaginary clock.
Putting the Stone
This popular contest is derived from an ancient clan ritual. Each chieftain's "stone of strength" was situated at the entrance of his castle. Before entry was granted, every visiting clansman was obligated to test his strength by throwing the stone for distance. Kansas City's Stone Throw competition follows the "Braemar" (standing) style as compared to the traditional shot-put. In Braemar competition, the athlete nests a field stone in the crook of his neck with arm cocked behind the ear. The stone, weighing 24 lbs., is thrown from a stationary position the athlete may not cross at any time.
The Hammer Throw
The history of this event is much debated. Some suggest that, like throwing the weight, thehammer is analogous to the ancient mace. Other claim it derives from a simple contest between village smithies. Whether of military or agrarian origins, it has grown into an internationally recognized Olympic event. Not to be confused with its all-metal counterpart used in the Olympics, the Scots' hammer has a wooden shaft made of cane, an overall length of 50 inches and comes in two weights: "Light" (16 lbs.) and "Heavy" (22 lbs.). Both are thrown standing-style, with the athlete swinging the hammer three times in a circle overhead before releasing it straight behind the thrower. Edinboro uses only the 16lb hammer.
Throwing the Weight
This competition consists of two separate events. Both are derived from ancient tests of military skills. The weight used for distance throwing is reminiscent of a mace. The weight used for throwing for height resembles a grappling hook once used to scale fortifications. The "Weight for Distance" contest involves hurling a 28 lb. or 56 lb. weight as far as possible. With a combination of balance, rhythm, and power, this is often considered a graceful athletic event. The second event, the "Weight for Height," an athlete tosses a 56 lb. weight up and over a horizontal bar using only one hand. Each athlete is allowed three attempts to clear a marked height before the bar is raised. The victor is the sole thrower who can clear the highest bar.
The Sheaf Toss
This event originated with farming traditions in Scotland. It involves tossing a sheaf of hayweighing 20 lbs. (and enclosed in a burlap bag) with a pitch fork over a free-swinging horizontal bar between two uprights. If the sheaf of hay touches the horizontal bar, the contestant is eliminated. After each successful round of tosses, the bar is raised one foot. The athlete with the greatest height over the bar is the winner.
Highland Games c/o Tim Thompson
106 Water St.
Edinboro, PA 16412
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