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147th Scottish Games taking place Sept. 1-2 At Alameda fairgrounds

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147th Scottish Games taking place Sept. 1-2 At Alameda fairgrounds

A bagpipe player at last year’s Games.

Photo contributed/

POSTED August 29, 2012 12:06 a.m.

PLEASANTON — The 147th Scottish Highland Gathering & Games on Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 1-2 at the Alameda County fairgrounds features the U.S. Marine Band San Diego and the L.A. Scots Grade I Pipe Band appearing  together side-by-side.

The daily Massed Bands presentation  will include the 30 competing pipe bands from the U.S. and Canada. In addition, the 30 pipe bands compete throughout  the day.

This grand finale begins both days at 4:15 p.m. on the track in front of the main grandstands, concluding a day of world championship heavy event athletics, highland dancing, living history reenactments, continuous entertainment of traditional and Celtic Rock on six stages, a Scottish Fiddlers Rally, Celtic Harpers and Living History with Mary Queen of Scots and her traveling entourage, highland warriors and invading Vikings.

 The world championship heavy event athletics include the top professionals from the U.S., Canada, Britain and Europe competing for the world title in the weight-for-height and caber. The 38th U.S. Invitational Championships include the pros, amateur men’s, women’s and masters classes in all eight athletic disciplines.

Do you think you may have a bit of Scottish in you. You can find out among the nearly 100 clans represented in the Gathering of the Clans, or if it’s the Irish in you, enjoy Irish Step Dancing in the Irish Pavilion. Birds of prey with expert handlers and their falcons, hawks, owls and other exotic birds are a popular stop as are the sheep dog trails. Speed and agility is part of the Five-A-Side Soccer tournament with eight teams from Northern California and Nevada, plus Rugby and the ancient Scottish Shinty tournaments.

For the wee ones there is the Children’s Glen with games and prizes. Always an abundance of British foods such as steak pies, bangers, shepards pie, scotch eggs, haggis, pasties and Celtic rolls, and of course, ales. And, back by popular demand, Whisky Live at the Games, where, for an additional fee,  one can sample the finer single malts from Scotland and learn the finer points of the art of fine distilling from a “Master”.

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