Highland games, a dancing competition, pipe band and a variety of other events will be featured in the fourth annual Highland Heritage Festival July 9 at Southern Utah State College.
After a 9 a.m. processional parade down Cedar City's Main Street, the festival and athletic events continue in the Thunderbird Stadium at SUSC. "Our festival is viewed as one of the premier Scottish celebrations west of the Mississippi," said C. David Nyman, festival director.Athletic games will include the sheaf toss, tossing the caber, Scottish hammer, hurling the haggis and the rolling pin throw, among others.
"Many of the events are rooted to the practical needs of the time," said Nyman. "While the events are not unique to Scottish culture, they have become associated in our minds with the people of the Highlands."
Although it is classified as a man's event, Nyman said that at least one woman will compete in tossing the cabor, which resembles a long log.
The rolling pin throw, on the other hand, is described as the premier women's event. The pin is a two-foot section from a caber, with a handle shaped like a rolling pin. "Woe to the man who crosses a woman skilled at this event," say festival officials.
Inquiries are pouring in from all over the United States and Canada about the dancing competition, said Nyman. He said Highland dance was once the province of men, but many women and children now compete. Five divisions will be held, all of them including the Highland Fling and Swords dances.
Admission to the festival events is $4, free for children under 12. For information about the festival contact Nyman at 586-7753, or write the Highland Heritage Festival, SUSC, Cedar City, UT 84720.
A preview of the festival will be featured July 7 when the Utah Pipe Band performs for the Summer Lecture Series at SUSC. The performance and lecture begins at 11:30 a.m. in the Thorley Recital Hall in the SUSC Music Building.
Directors David and Virginia Barclay will provide an informal lecture on the bagpipe and its unique traditions.