The Scottish Games this weekend in Pleasanton California – September 2nd and 3rd
Heritage and culture are always a fun celebration. Some cities and towns have small celebrations and others have large ones. There are things like Italian Fest’s, Medieval Fairs, and Mardi gras and then there is San Francisco’s “Scottish Games.”
California has been the home to the Scottish games since 1866. The Caledonian Club of San Francisco hosts this celebration every year. This is 2 day event now rather than the one day event that it began as. The Scottish Games has been going on for over a hundred years.
The gathering and games started as more of a family picnic and grown more and more over the years. They have been held in San Francisco, Sausalito, Oakland, Santa Rosa and have finally come to rest in Pleasanton. This particular celebration has lasted through the economic depression, wars, earthquakes, and bridge closures.
In tradition the Scottish games, were known as heavy athletics. These events were held in Scotland, they began as strength training for the Scottish military soldiers. During those events, strong men would heave tree trunks, toss large river rocks, and lead weights. As time went on and progression happened the games became more of a family picnic gathering for the town folk.
The California Gold Rush attracted many scots’s to San Francisco. Along with them came their heritage and their culture. Seventeen men, worked together to organize and plan the Inaugural Scottish Games, they made them happen a week later on Thanksgiving day in November 1866,
What started as tree trunk heaving, river rock distance tossing and lead weight tossing this has definitely evolved into a more modern set of events. The games have grown from 9 events to over 60 competitive games, with additional venues. The games have also extended from 1 day to 2 days. The original events may appear barbaric and well behind the times, however they were designed for men and proving strength.
Some of the modern day events have gone beyond being a test of strength. Just like with anything as time goes forward, things evolve and change to match the current time period. They have drum major events, dancing championship, pipe band competitions and so much more. There are also archery exhibitions, bird of prey shows, reenactments and more.
The games occur at different venues around the fairgrounds. You can now find the Traditional Entertainment stage, Irish Pavilion, Celtic Heritage Stage, Game Grand stands and more. Each stage offers something different dating from original events to modern day events. The stages have been spread out around the fairgrounds so different events can run concurrently.
With the attraction of almost 50,000 attendees, the Scottish Games are an amazing event produced on all on volunteer participation. The event is an amazing honor of the heritage and culture of the Scottish. If you enjoy traveling the world and experiencing culture then the Scottish games at the Alameda Fairgrounds is a highly recommended experience.
Contact Us for more information on the Games here in Pleasanton and maybe we will see you there 🙂