Written by Nathan Wertheimer
Winter Springs, FL – This year’s Central Florida Scottish Highland Games is an anniversary year. There are many changes at this year’s event. Parking and layout of the event may seem a little different, but the promoters still have the same feel and great entertainment and games taking place. This year’s event is held on Saturday, January 14, 2017, from 8am to 8pm and Sunday, January 15, 2016, from 8:45am to 5pm Central Winds Park in Winter Springs, Florida.
A look into the European culture of the Scottish right in our own back yard and you don’t even have to fly to Scotland. The Central Florida Scottish Highland Games is open to all walks of life. Anyone can compete in these games. They’re more than just the games, which include music and dancing, Clans parade, food, and authentic Scottish merchandise. Experience the Scottish culture up close and in-person.
The Scottish-American Society of Central Florida was founded in 1976 to celebrate and carry on the Scottish traditions here in the U.S. The purpose of this organization is to provide education to the Central Florida community through schools, churches, civic lectures and demonstrations, as well as organizing and hosting the annual Central Florida Scottish Highland Games held on the third weekend in January.
Parking is currently being review at Central Winds Park and surrounding areas. Parking tends to fill up fast each year. It is recommended to arrive early. Overflow parking is at a satellite parking lot location within a short drive in Winter Springs. Check the event website for more information.
Many people don’t know that this Scottish Games in Central Florida is one of the biggest events outside of the Scotland. Even many people from Scotland come to visit these games too. When arriving at the park pay and walk thru the event main gates there is a large highland games field setup to the right for the Open Stone Put, Braemar Stone Put, 56lb Weight for Distance, Hammer Throw, Caber Toss, Sheaf Toss, and Weight for Height. There are separate competitions for both men and woman. Come cheer them on. Please be advised not to sit too close to the fence line because there may be a risk of injury from some of the athletes’ actions.
There is more than just the Highland Games. Don’t forget about the great entertainment. Come see the Scottish Country Dance. The Scottish Country Dancing (SCD) is a sociable dance form with roots stretching back for centuries. Participants are grouped into sets, typically of 3, 4, or 5 couples arranged either in two lines (men facing ladies) or in a square, and work together to dance a sequence of formations. This will leave them in a new order, and the dance is repeated enough times to bring them back to their starting positions, with everyone dancing each position in turn.
Don’t forget about the live music on two separate stages. Just relax and listen to some of the Scottish traditional music. Some of the bands on stage are Off kilter, Enter The Haggis, Albannach, Rathkeltair, Breakers, Men of Worth, Roy Gullane & Phil Smillie,.
To round off your day at the Central Florida Scottish Highland Games check out the many vendors selling made handcrafted and reproduction authentic clothing and merchandise. Take home a piece of history and culture. One vendor sells new kilts at a discount price. Plus, there are medieval style replica swords and knives.
By the end of the day you will feel you have taken in all the sights and scenes at this year’s Scottish Highland Games. Each year these games are different. So mark your calendar and bring your family out to this event. For more information and ticket prices on this event go to: http://www.flascot.com/index.php
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Photos courtesy from icflorida.com
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