Thursday, April 19, 2018

3rd Annual Mother Lode Highland Games & Celtic Gathering - June 9 & 10

The 3rd Annual Mother Lode Highland Games and Celtic Gathering returns to the Shenandoah Valley Wine Region in Plymouth, CA June 9 & 10, 2018.

Blaring bagpipes, astounding athletics and tons of tartans converge in Plymouth, the Gateway to the Shenandoah Valley Wine Region of Amador County. Along the “Royal Mile” tartans will be flown honoring our many clans who participate.

The Mother Lode Highland Games and Celtic Gathering hearkens back to the rich cultural traditions of Scotland here in the Sierra Foothills.

The event begins Saturday morning, June 9th, with entertainment from a great lineup of bands.  From the BlackEyed Dempseys an Irish Pub Band, to Stand Easy and their Celtic Rock music, to Golden Bought and their traditional Celtic tunes, to Michael Mullen a Trio of One.  The bands will perform throughout the weekend on the various stages throughout the Amador County Fairgrounds.

There will be Scottish foods as well as other ethnic foods available in the food court.  The Marketplace will host Celtic craft vendors along with Celtic goods imported from Scotland as well as other vendors.

Both Saturday and Sunday will be filled with competitions in traditional heavy weight Scottish athletic events; highland dancing competitions; bagpipe band parades, piping & drumming competitions, harp demonstrations and concerts featuring a wide array of Celtic music.

Some of the top Scottish athletes clash Saturday in traditional heavyweight events, such as tossing the caber and tossing the sheaf.  In the caber toss, athletes flip a telephone pole-sized log end over end.  The sheaf toss challenges athletes to loft a 16-pound sack of hay over a bar more than 20 feet high.  Other ancient tests of strength await the contestants, including the hammer throw and various weight throws.  Events are repeated Sunday for amateurs and athletes 40+.

If you plan to stay with us in the Amador County Fairgrounds camping area, there will be a ceilidh Saturday evening featuring some of the pipe bands and high energy Celtic rock bands.

Throughout the weekend visitors can learn about their own Scottish history and genealogy in the Modern Clan Village.  Each of the clans has a wealth of information, books, and knowledge they would love to pass along to help you in your search. Or, you can browse the Marketplace for Gaelic and tartan gift items, handcrafted works of art or jewelry, imported foods and other goods.  While browsing the Marketplace one can eat traditional Scottish meat pies purchased in the food court.

For those who are interested in history you can visit the Living History Village. Each guild has researched the history they represent, whether it be Mary Queen of Scots and the St. Andrew's Noble Order of Royal Scots, or the Halberdiers. Throughout the weekend in the Living History Village one can see numerous aspects of Scottish culture through the many demonstrations such as blacksmithing, weaving, spinning, ancient athletic events and much more. At the 2017 Games Mary Queen of Scots and her court performed a wedding at the edge of “Loch Ness”. For the bride and groom it was a fairy-tail wedding come true.

The wee ones can participate in a number of activities in the Children's Glen, or they can have tea with the Queen.

To purchase tickets online please visit Tickets cover all activities within the Amador County Fairgrounds. Parking is available at the Games on a first come, first serve basis.

For more information about the Games, visit or call (209) 304-4926.  For lodging and travel information you can find that on our website, we offer links to B&B's, hotels and more.

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