updated 5:04 PM EDT, Apr 1, 2015
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A soldier practices the caber toss

The 52 Annual Salado Scottish Games and Gathering of the Clans will be taking place at the Salado Civic Center grounds, Veterans Day Weekend Nov. 8-10.

This year’s Gathering promises to be much larger than last year with extended hours, new special events, and in partnership with the 3rd Cavalry Regiment and the Wounded Warriors Transition Brigade from Fort Hood. 

The Games were started in November of 1961 by the Central Texas Area Museum to celebrate the heritage of the 600 Scots that settled the Central Texas Region in 1836 as part of the Robertson Colony.

Three music tents will be operating with twelve bands and performers from all over the country.  Performances by returning, Indianapolis progressive Celtic rock band, Highland Reign, Seamus Stout, Fort Worth, Jed Marum, Dallas, Rising Gael from Madison Wisconsin, Tullamore, Kansas City,  Scotland Rising, Celtic rock band Cleghorn, Scotsmen Carl Peterson from Pennsylvania and Ed Miller.  Ed hosts a Scots/Irish radio program from 6 to 8 p.m., Sundays, on KUT Austin.  San Antonio favorites, Campbell and McKenna, Tom Beadnell from South Dakota, and Kyle Carey from New Hampshire who sings in Scots Gaelic.  We are happy to say the 51st Games will also have a storyteller for the children,  Donna Ingham. 

Performances will begin at 10 a.m. Nov. 9-10.  Gates open at 9 a.m. on Nov. 9-10.  Schedules and prices are posted on the Central Texas Area Museum website – www.saladoscottishgames.org.

Twenty retail vendors specializing in everything Scots-Irish.  Seven food vendors will provide Scots-Irish favorites and American standards.   Enjoy the food and music with a Celtic brew.

Special events will range from Scottish Shortbread and Bonniest Knees contests to going back to the 4th Century BC, to see how ancient Celts lived in an Iron Age with a British tribe called, the Coritani.  See Texas history come alive through the living history display of the Alabama Red Rovers, a group of volunteers who came to the aid of Texas in their fight for independence in 1835.  Watch 1869 – 1875 musket drill being conducted by a SGM of the 42nd Highland Regiment of the Victorian Period.  See and participate in Medieval English longbow archery demonstrations by Black Eagle Castle Archery.

Activities begin Nov. 8, when the Central Texas Area Museum hosts its Genealogy Workshop from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Tickets are $35 for non-members and $30 for museum members.  

That evening, on the ruins of College Hill, starting at 6 p.m., the Clans will form by torchlight to meet the Honorary Clan Chief for the Games followed by a Scots-Irish Social in the Scots Hall. There you will sample Scots-Irish food and beverage. Tickets are $6.  

Weekend two-day grounds packages are available.  Admission  on Nov. 9 is $12 for adults and $6 for children 12 and under. The Grand Opening Parade kicks off at noon. That evening, on the College Hill ruins, several of the Pipes and Drums bands will perform in the Tattoo at 5:30 p.m.  Tickets for that event are $6.  At 8 p.m., the Tartan Ceilidh will be held in the Conference Center, Stagecoach Inn.  Tickets for that event are $35 per person.  Dress up in your Scottish finery or come business casual.  

The grounds open at 9 a.m. Nov. 11 with admission $10 per adult and $6 children twelve and under. 

The Children’s Games take place in the morning and these kids do not want cardboard tubes or noodles or Styrofoam balls.  They use scaled-down replicas of what the adults use! 

More band competitions, music, food and fun. 

The Closing Ceremony of the massed bands takes place at 4:30 p.m.