Put on your plaid kilts, blast the bagpipes, and indulge in some haggis during the annual Scots Festival & International Highland Games XXIV aboard The Queen Mary. From February 18-19th you can experience Scotland’s history and culture through a variety of Scottish activities, athletics, dancing, entertainment, and cuisine.
Channel your Competitive Scottish Spirit
Follow in the ancient Celtic tradition of competing in the Scottish Highland Games. These exciting events will challenge you physically and mentally. Among these rigorous endurance tests are:
- Caber Toss: Athletes will rest the caber (pole) against their shoulder while clasping their arms around it. They will then try to lift it off the ground while keeping it perfectly balanced. When the athlete has successfully lifted the caber, they run to attain momentum and then toss the caber, trying to place it in a perfect “twelve o’clock position.”
- Throwing the Weight (for height and distance): Competitors can either throw for distance (using a 28-pound weight) or for height (using a 56-pound weight).
- The Hammer Throw: The originators of this sport would toss actual sledgehammers -- fortunately, modern day competitors now use an iron sphere attached to a chain. Despite this alteration, the goal of the sport remains the same: to toss the hammer as far as possible.
- Putting the Shot: This event is the ultimate test of strength. Using weights ranging from 16 to 22 pounds, athletes are required to lift the weight in one hand in front of their shoulder, run to gain momentum, and then toss the stone for distance.
- Sheaf Toss: Competitors have three attempts to use a pitchfork to hurl a burlap bag stuffed with straw over a horizontal bar.
- Darts: This event requires immense concentration as competitors aim to have their dart hit the bull’s eye.
- Wee Athletics: A free event for children where they can partake in a wide array of events -- from archery to potato sack races.
Play the Bagpipes and Kick up your Kilts
Music and dancing have always been a large component of Scottish culture. From the popular piping competitions to the extraordinary pipe band ensemble, you will surely be entertained as you listen to traditional Scottish tunes.
In addition, you can also enjoy a variety of traditional Scottish dances, such as the Highland Fling, the Sword Dance, and the Scottish Lilt.
A Taste of Scotland
Scotland boasts a unique and delicious national cuisine, all of which will be featured at the ScotsFestival. For an unforgettably authentic four-course Scottish meal, register for the Robert Burns Supper, which will be held on February 17th.
The supper promises to serve Scottish favorites, from a savory haggis to the unmatchable flavor of Scottish whiskey. Additionally, all guests who attend the Burn’s Supper will be invited to Rock Yer Kilt, the official ScotsFestival Day after party, featuring the best Scottish, Gaelic, and Celtic bands around.
No matter if you are a Scot by blood, or a Scot at heart, the ScotsFestival & International Highland Games XXIV aboard The Queen Mary will undoubtedly leave you with the authentic Scottish feeling you crave!