Photos and Story By Ty C. O’Neil
Bartley Ranch Regional Park was home to the 26th annual Reno Celtic Celebration this past weekend, Oct. 1-2, 2016.
Guests to the event were met first by Andy, a Skye terrier and breed of dog famed for loyalty. Scottish lore holds that a Skye terrier once stayed by its master’s grave for 14 years until its own death.
The next stop were the Clan booths where visitors could learn about Scottish-American heritage. The booths included the only Irish Clan represented at the Highland games, Clan Cian. “So many people are of mixed decent you know, one side of their family is Scottish and one side is Irish,” said Star Carroll-Smith, a member of Clan Cian. “We are welcome in the Highland games for that purpose–because so many people are also Irish.”
That combination continued in the dancing, where both traditional Scottish and Irish dancing were on display. This seemed to be the most popular part of the event, benefiting from both great dance, song and seating from which to watch. The live music continued in the auditorium with a variety of Celtic-themed bands playing both traditional Celtic songs as well as more modern takes.
This was the first year that a full Highlands game was held thanks to the addition of a field allowing for a Scottish hammer throw. Michel Perrin, who organizes the Scottish athletics, said that this year’s games had 12 competitors competing for medals and Celtic-themed rewards.
The games also included the caber toss and weight over the bar. The caber toss drew the largest crowd as competitors attempted to turn a large wooden pole end over end. The weight over the bar competition consisted of throwing a metal weight over a horizontal bar more than 12 feet in the air.
The events concluded with a closing ceremony featuring four Scottish marching bands playing in unison.