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Jason Olson, Deseret News photo archive
Nick Westover flings a 16-pound sheaf for height as part of the athletic competitions during the 35th annual Utah Scottish Association Highland Games and Scottish Festival at Thanksgiving Point in Lehi Saturday, June 13, 2009. The two-day event features music, food and athletic competitions.

LEHI — Thirty-six family clans and cultural organizations along with Celtic bands and dancers will gather June 8-9 for the 38th annual Utah Scottish Festival and Highland Games.

"Festival events are for the entire community, not just those of Scottish descent," Bob Gallimore, a board member and publicity chairman for the Utah Scottish Association, wrote in an email. "All are graciously welcome to be Scots for a day!"

The festival and games will be held at Thanksgiving Point in Electric Park, a 15-acre outdoor venue with plenty of space to accommodate the wide range of activities offered. Highlights will include a Highland dance competition with ancient dances like the Highland Fling and the Sword Dance, Highland athletic competitions such as the National Sheaf Toss Championships, and multiple musical performances.

"The Festival and Games are really fun-filled and family-friendly,” said Brooke Montgomery, president of the Utah Scottish Association, in a news release. “All our guests are embraced by the warmth and richness of Scottish culture. Utah's own Highlands beautifully backdrop the festival's continuous action."

Celtic trio "Molly's Revenge" will kick off the festivities Friday afternoon with a performance at 5:15 on the entertainment stage. Vendors and booths for each represented Scottish clan will open at 5 p.m. Tickets include both days of the festival and cost $10 for students (12-18) and seniors (65-plus), and $15 for general admission. They may be purchased online at utahscots.org or at the gates. Children ages 11 and under get in free.

The Highland Games will begin with the Strongman competition at 5:30 p.m. Friday and continue on Saturday with "Heavy Events" competitions, culminating in an awards ceremony at 4 p.m. Registration for all athletic events this year has closed.

Other attractions include the Tattoos — referring to Scottish drum and pipe band performances — and the Disney-Pixar festival booth, planned to promote the upcoming movie "Brave," which is set in ancient Scotland and is one of the festival's sponsors.

"Utah Scot Fest has been held annually since 1975,” Gallimore said. “It is one of the largest celebrations of Scottish culture and heritage in our region."

What: Scottish Festival & Highland Games

Where: Electric Park at Thanksgiving Point

When: June 8-9

Events Schedule

Email: [email protected]