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Let the games begin

Caber tossing, pipes and culture on tap at Scottish Games

The Scottish Games will take place Saturday, Aug. 31, and Sunday, Sept. 1, at the Altamont Fairgrounds

The Scottish Games will take place Saturday, Aug. 31, and Sunday, Sept. 1, at the Altamont Fairgrounds

— “We have a lot of exhibitions, vendors who sell imported Scottish and Celtic food like meat pies. We have a Scottish dog exhibition with an obstacle course where they will perform. We have Highland cattle and falcons. And we have Scottish clans from all over the Northeast that set up tents,” Munro said.

Munro, who has been a part of the Schenectady Pipe Band for 45 years, said one of the most memorable moments of the games is the massing of the pipe bands, which happens during opening and closing ceremonies each day.

“I always tell everyone to try and get there early,” he said. “All the bands play together. We could have 500 pipers and hundreds of drummers all playing together. It’s quite a sight to see.”

In addition to the mass bands, the games will feature a range of piping and drumming competitions, including solo piping, small group ensembles and the pipe bands themselves.

Traditional Highland dancers ranging from age 3 to adult will also take the stage throughout the day performing for judges. Munro said some of the competitors are local, but many of them also come from up and down the Eastern seaboard, Canada, Texas and as far west as Chicago.

“There is a circuit of Scottish gamers that happens every summer. We are at the tail end and we become a place where they go and finish off their season,” Munro said.

Pipes and drums are not the only music heard at the games. Five Celtic stage bands will also perform throughout the weekend.

“This year our featured band is Manran. They are direct from Scotland and are six guys who are at the top of the Celtic record charts right now,” Munro said.

Additionally, Scottish clans will be on hand in tents offering history and information to anyone interested in Celtic heritage or just curious about Tartan tradition.

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