Scotland is coming to Amador County with the inaugural Mother Lode Highland Games and Gathering. This two-day event is great for the whole family, from the young to the young at heart.
The Highland Games will have events such as caber tossing (throwing what looks like a wooden telephone pole one end over the other), putting the stone (similar to shot put but with an irregular-shaped, 16-pound stone), weight for distance (a 56 pound weight thrown with one hand while keeping the feet within a very small area) and tossing the sheaf (picking up a bundle of straw with a pitchfork and tossing it over a bar).
Carl McDanel, Chief of the Mother Lode Scots, says the games are fashioned after those believed to have taken place during ancient times to help chieftains in the highlands of Scotland find the strongest men for their armies. The Games are played by competitive men and women from around the nation and from other countries.
If you are wanting to find your roots you can visit the Clan Village where many clans will be available to assist in that search. They will have books and information on the various clans.
For the kids there will be a Children's Glen with their own games, such as potato sack races, tug-of-war contests, they can even throw a mini caber. A children's tent will have crafts for the kids and other fun things to do throughout the day.
During this weekend event one can hear Scottish music, bagpipes and entertainment. The lineup of entertainers is The AnGry Brians, Black Irish, Golden Bough, Cooking With Turf, Michael Mullen a Trio of One, and Tempest. These bands will perform at the various stages and venues throughout the fairgrounds.
For the animal lovers there will be Miniature Highland Cattle (or Coos as they're called in Scotland), Sheep Dog Demonstrations along with other animal displays and demonstrations. In the dog arena there will be deer hounds, border collies, along with several other breeds.
Along with the competitive games and music, animals, and children's activities there will also be a classic car show.
For those who have never tried Scottish foods come on out. In our food court there will be fish and chips, pasties, meat pies and of course haggis (the Americanized version which is a “sausage of meat and oats along with some spices). The Games will have a number of Scottish food vendors along with other foods as well.
And for those of you who like to shop you can visit the Village Marketplace where you will find 30 plus craft vendors, kilt makers/dealers, Scottish and Irish candies along with English Toffee, glassware, clothing, imports and much, much more.
Since Amador County is rich in viticulture the Games will offer wine seminars throughout the weekend. These wine tasting seminars will provide you with a greater understanding of the Shenandoah Valley and Fiddletown Appellations, characteristics of various varietals, wine styles along with much more.
Scotland with it's long history in the distillation of Scotch (or malt as its called in Scotland) will offer whisky tasting seminars. These seminars will provide you with a greater understanding of the history of whisky, it's distillation process and the various characteristics of whisky varieties.
Last, but not least, will be the Living History Village where you may run into anyone from Mary Queen of Scot to weavers and craftsmen to Mountain Men. In the Living History Village one can also pan for gold, view the ore crusher and watch lumber being cut on the Gold Rush Era Sawmill.
Amador County Fairgrounds
18621 Sherwood St.
Plymouth CA 95669
Carl McDanel, (209) 245-5400