The 2023 Highland Games and Celtic Music Festival will be held April 1-2 at the Helotes Festival Grounds.
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Highland Dance

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We are very pleased to announce that we will be back hosting the San Antonio Highland Dance Competition over the weekend of April 1st & 2nd, 2023 in Helotes, Texas. Although the majority of our competitors are from various parts of Texas, we have had dancers travel from Kansas, Missouri, Nevada, Colorado, Idaho, Oklahoma, Arizona, and Tennessee to attend our Competition. We are excited to welcome all of the dancers back to competition.

Highland Dancing is a long tradition and an integral part of any highland games because it is both an art and a sport that provides young people with the opportunity to build self-confidence, discipline, perseverance and athletic ability. It also promotes the preservation of Scottish culture and ensures that the knowledge and understanding of Scottish heritage is preserved so it can be passed onto the next generation.

Dancers are divided into age groups according to the number of entries received. There are five categories in which the dancers can compete. Primary (age 6 & under), Beginner, Novice, Intermediate, and Premier. Depending on category, dancers will compete in the following dances: Pas de Basque, Pas de Basque & Highcuts, Highland Fling, Sword Dance, Seann Triubhas, Strathspey & Reel, Lilt, Flora, Hornpipe, Jig, or other national dances.

Dancers are judged on timing, technique, and deportment in each dance. Depending upon the number of dancers in each group and discretion of the adjudicator, dancers are then awarded 1st -6th place in each dance. The overall winner of 4 dances in each category will receive a trophy. Primary (age 6 & under) receive medals and ribbons only.

George Angus Mackenzie Memorial Most Promising Beginner Dancer Award

Awarded at the discretion of the Adjudicator to the beginner dancer who displays the skills & attitude needed to progress in Highland dancing.

This perpetual award was generously donated by Annette Venegas and family in loving memory of George Angus Mackenzie. Mr. Mackenzie was born in Thurso, in the Scottish Highlands, in 1932. He travelled the world in the Merchant Navy. Mr. Mackenzie was a news reporter and then an editor for TV station CFTO (Toronto, Canada) for 40 years. As an adult, he learned to play the bagpipes and was a member of the Whitby, Ontario, Legion Pipe Band. Although he immigrated to Canada, Mr. Mackenzie never strayed far from his Scottish roots. He is remembered especially for encouraging his nieces and nephews in their pursuits of Highland Dancing and Piping.

Donald Miller Memorial Premier Sword Challenge Winner

The aggregate trophy winner in each Premier age group will qualify to dance off for the Premier Sword Challenge. The Challenge Sword (2&1) will be dance immediately following presentation of afternoon awards.

This perpetual award was generously donated by Isobel Miller in loving memory of her husband, Donald Miller. Mr. Miller was born in Savonsburg, Kansas, and is described as “a farm boy who fell in love with Highland Dancing”. He became an avid supporter/mentor of his daughter’s dance career. Mrs. Miller passed away in October, 2013 and this award will continue in her husband’s name by Mary Beth Miller-Klein.
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Wilma KG Mackenzie Heberling Memorial Most Promising Novice Dancer Award

Awarded at the discretion of the Adjudicator to the Novice dancer who displays the skills & attitude needed to progress in Highland Dancing.
This perpetual award is donated by Katharine McLendon and Annette Venegas in loving memory of their mother. Wilma was born in Wick, in the Scottish Highlands. She emigrated to Canada with her father and younger sister and started her career as a nurse. Later she moved to the United States with her husband and three children. She taught both her daughters the Highland Fling and then found dance teacher, Linda Armstrong, so they could continue learning and competing.

Wilma never strayed far from her highland roots- volunteering with various Highland Games and Associations since the ‘70s. She was well known at the San Antonio Highland Games for her cooking demonstrations, sharing Scottish heritage, and running the Children's’ Games and Bonnie Knee contest. Wilma was a member of the SA Scottish Society for over 20 years, serving 8 years on the board. She was also influential in starting the British Society of Texas which she was the Vice President of before her death in 2018.
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