With Pipes A-ringing and Kilts A-swinging!

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By Dr. Jim McLaren, SLSG Chairman. Photos by Janey Brewen.

Late September brought another exciting and enjoyable Scottish Games in Forest Park, our 10th annual. The crowd was even larger than last year, and attendees were treated to a host of super events. Ed Miller (best folk revival performer in U.S.), John Taylor (one of the world’s great Scottish fiddlers), Jil Chambless, Scooter Muse, Mitzi McDonald, Duddybreeks and Peat Fire Flame provided musical entertainment that rivaled any stand-alone folk concert.

The Highland dancing hosted 48 competitors in fierce competition – some even brought swords. Eleven pipe bands, some from as far away as Minnesota, competed in piping and drumming events. The St. Louis Scottish Games 2012 massed band had over 120 pipers and over 50 drummers. We believe this is the largest pipe band ever to play in St. Louis, and the sound was hair-raising!

The heavy athletics were popular as usual and had some nail-biting finishes. Another world record was set when Kearney Smith, Masters Class (45-49), threw a 56lb weight over a horizontal bar 16’8” high! This is the third world record set at the St. Louis Scottish Games over the years. Logan College again sponsored the Athlete of the Day with a superb crystal trophy.

The vendors had a good day selling things Scottish. The food vendors provided an excellent range of haggis, mince pies, bridies, pasties, fish & chips and, of course, some fine vintage Irn-Bru or a Schlafly beer to wash it all down. The goldilocks weather made it a great day to have a Scottish picnic at the tables and watch the ceremonies, including birds of prey, sword fighting, and various parades. Our sheepdog master of many years, Ron Zytniak, has retired and his replacement, Robyn, commanded a fine show in front of the Clan tents.

Space is too limited to mention every event. However, from the few highlights given above and the pictures shown, we hope that this small piece brought back some nice memories of a great day out. If you did not attend, then have a look at all the Scottish traditions and culture that are on show, and plan to be there next year on September 27-28th, 2013.

Of course, such an amazing Scottish Games could not happen without a lot of dedicated hard work by many people. Thank you to our Board Members, Committee Chairs, Donors, Sponsors, Volunteers, and Participants for working so hard to make all of this happen. It was a big success!

A special thank you to the St Andrew Society for being a Founding sponsor, and to all the members who donated and helped out.

And, a big thank you to all who attended the 2012 Scottish Games. We’re no awa’ tae bide awa’. See you next year.

Visit the St. Louis Scottish Games website at www.stlouis-scottishgames.com.