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The San Antonio Highland Games Association (SAHGA) was founded to educate the people of San Antonio and Texas about Scottish culture through the organization and promotion of various activities, including Scottish Highland Games. Annually the SAHGA hosts the San Antonio Highland Games and Celtic Music Festival typically on the first weekend of April.
Each year, the festival hosts over 30 Clans which provide an opportunity for patrons to find out if their family name is Scottish, learn a bit about their Clan, and join their Clan, if desired. The Highland Games features both male and female athletes from all over the world competing in feats of strength such as the caber toss, sheaf toss, weight over bar, weight for distance, hammer throw, and stone put. Several world records have been set at the San Antonio Highland Games. Patrons can also interact with living history displays including Vikings, a Village Weaver, Archers, Artisans, and Iron Age reenactors. Scottish food such as haggis, shepherd's pie, and Highland beef can also be tried at one of several food vendors. For those not as daring, more traditional American food is also offered. Celtic merchants are also on site selling kilts, jewelry, t-shirts, handmade crafts, and various other items.
Celtic music takes various forms at the Festival including Celtic rock, traditional Scottish and Irish tunes, folk music, bluegrass, harp, bagpipes, and more. With two music stages and a Celtic jam session tent, visitors can be sure to find something to delight their eardrums.
A Highland dance competition, scheduled for Saturday typically draws over 70 competitors from all across Texas and as far away as Nevada and Tennessee. The dancers compete in up to eleven dances in one of five categories - Primary (age 6 & under), Beginner, Novice, Intermediate, and Premier. Festival patrons also have the opportunity to watch Scottish Highland Dancing, Scottish Country Dancing, and Irish Dancing exhibitions are various times over the weekend.
Other events at the Highland Games and Celtic Music Festival include sheepherding trials, Scottish history seminars, Scottish cooking demonstrations, and a Bonnie Knees competition. Families will be happy to take their kids to the Kid's Glen where the wee bairns can participate in crafts, listen to storytelling, and learn about Scottish history and culture.
Needless to say, there are activities for the whole family to enjoy and enough action to keep patrons engaged for a whole day, if not the whole weekend. Come check us out!!
If you've visited the San Antonio Highland Games and Celtic Music Festival and want to get more involved with the planning efforts, please send an email to membership@sahga.org and you will receive information on attending our next meeting.
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