Susan and I went to the Stone Mountain Highland Games last Saturday. We had been told that it was “huge”, but we thought that it wasn’t that much bigger than the Alabama Highland Games, which we’ve attended the past few years. There were a few more clan and vendor tents, and there were more people attending, but I’d say that the Alabama Highland Games stands up well in comparison.
We were a little disappointed at what seemed to be a small turnout at the Clan Campbell Society booth — there were only a few names already on the visitor’s roster when I added our names. I would like to have stopped back by later in the afternoon to see if it had picked up, but we just never made it back over there.
We stopped by most, if not all, of the vendors to peruse their goods. And we bought a fair amount of items. Susan picked up a really nice wool blanket done in the Campbell (Blackwatch) tartan. She also picked up a book called Celtic Knits, which has over 25 knitting patterns for sweaters, scarves, and such. I picked up a book on Celtic Knotwork Designs. I’ve seen some good websites on this subject before, but sometimes you just want hardcopy. Susan also picked up two new pairs of Celtic cross earrings, one in silver, the other in pewter.
Of course, we also had to ignore our eating plan for the day and sample the food. For lunch, Susan had a “Bridie” (a small, spiced meat pastry), and I had a meat pie. We also had some beer (Grolsch was a sponsor). And we picked up an assortment of sweets: oatmeal raisin cookies, shortbread, and other confections, which we brought home to share with the rest of the family.
After our lunch, we went to the athletic field to watch the caber toss. After several competitors were easily able to turn the first two cabers (I think the announcer said they were just over 100 pounds), they recommended that they switch to the backup caber, which weighed in at about 140 pounds. That made a big difference, as only two or three of the athletes were able to turn that one. However, one fellow did an amazing brute-force turn from a stand-still! Normally, they have to get a running start, to add to the caber’s momentum.
There were several musical groups performing, but the only one we stopped to listen to was Henri’s Notions, who are from Alabama. They sounded really great, and we stopped by their table afterwards to buy a CD. We chatted with lead singer Jil Chambless for a bit, and were surprised to learn that she has family in our old hometown of Enterprise. Ain’t it a small world? Anyhow, all of the musicians were quite talented, and I’m sure we’ll be buying more of their music soon.
We had a nice time there, and the cool weather was definitely a plus. We wore jackets the whole time, though we probably could have gone without them during the warmest parts of the day. We’re looking forward to going back again next year.