Picture the wispy early morning fog floating against the backdrop of mountains. Cue in the sound of a bagpipe echoing off the hills. Add male and female athletes in kilts throwing and heaving a variety of six implements…….everything from the caber to the sheaf. Enter more bagpipers and drummers performing in formation. This isn’t the Highlands of Scotland – this is your Roanoke Valley.
The Green Hill Highland Games is truly a grassroots effort, and an anomaly in a time when Highland Games are sadly folding in increasing numbers. This is the game’s ninth year and it has grown steadily. This year, 60 male and female athletes are competing in six events. Each event has a unique Scottish origin, the most recognizable being the caber toss.
No Highland Game would be complete without bagpipes. The Virginia Highland Pipe and Drum Band, as well as the Richmond Emerald Society Pipe and Drum Band will be on hand to perform in the opening ceremonies, as well as throughout the day. The sounds of the massed pipe bands can reach deep and is truly stirring.
Celtic music is also a crucial element of a Highland games, and reflective of the importance of music in general to the Celtic culture. This year, the Green Hill Highland Games is honored to have the Celtic trio from Blacksburg, Duada, performing. A brand new band, The Pipers Club, will be making their debut at the games, as well.
The Green Hill Highland Games also offers a “scaled-down” version of the athletics for the wee ones and the ever popular Vikings and their Viking ship will once again be sweeping through the games. Various Scottish Clans will be set up and are a great source of information regarding genealogical questions.
This year will also be the first year that offers a whisky tasting. Further information regarding signing up for the whisky tasting can be located on the Green Hill Highland Games Facebook page. A covered beer garden will also be present for those who want to sit back and soak in the culture over a cold pint of local and regional brews.
The Green Hill Highland Games has something for everyone that speaks to one’s Celtic heritage, or just curiosity. Date: August 26, 2017. Time: 09:00 am – 06:00 pm. Location: Roanoke County’s Green Hill Park 2501 Parkside Dr, Salem, VA 24153. To learn more go to https://www.facebook.com/GreenHillHighlandGames/
Admission and parking are free, and all proceeds are donated to Warrior 360. Sorry, only service dogs are permitted in the park..