156th Scottish Highland Gathering and Games returns to Alameda County Fairgrounds

ByTim Johns via KGO logo
Sunday, September 4, 2022
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The 156th Scottish Highland Gathering and Games returns to the Alameda County fairgrounds under the scorching heat this weekend.

PLEASANTON, Calif. (KGO) -- If you listen closely, you might be able to hear a familiar sound making its way back to the Alameda County Fairgrounds this weekend.

For the 156th time, the Caledonian Club of San Francisco will be hosting its annual Scottish Highland Gathering and Games.

On Friday night, they hosted a fundraiser to kick off the weekend.

"All kinds of things Scottish. We'll have pipe bands and pipers obviously. We've got heavy athletics," said Rob Tysinger.

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Tysinger is the president of the club.

He says the event is one of the largest of its kind in the United States, and is a way for Scottish people to share their culture with the rest of the Bay Area.

"We've never given up our pride in our country, in our ways of life and ways of dress," Tysinger said.

But with temperatures expected to soar this weekend, heat will also be a concern.

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Several of the events at the games - like the "kilted mile" - are outdoors and physically demanding.

"We'll have cooling tents. We have misters throughout the fairgrounds. We also have five buildings that are all air conditioned," said Tysinger.

The hot weather a consideration not just for those in attendance, but also for several of the participants as well.

Bagpiper Christopher Boyle explains extreme heat can have an effect on the way his instrument performs.

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"The cane doesn't vibrate as well when it dries out. So managing moisture is going to be critical, and our people will be adding ice chips to their bags to keep moisture inside," Boyles said.

But despite the sun, Boyles says this year's event is sure to be a good time.

Filled with food, fun and a whole lot of uniquely Scottish features.

"At the end of the day, we're here to enjoy the time, the music, the athletics, the sheep herding," he said.

For more information on the event, visit here.

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