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Calling All Clans: Second-annual Foothills Highland Games start Friday in McDowell
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Calling All Clans: Second-annual Foothills Highland Games start Friday in McDowell

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Come one, come all, clan or no clan, to the second annual Foothills Highlands Games this weekend at the Back Forty Fairgrounds rain or shine at 650 Dairy Road south of Marion.

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The Grandfather Mountain Highlanders Pipe Band will be at the games.

Tickets are $20 for the event for adults and cover the whole weekend of activities. Cofounders Chris Marsh and Brandon Fisher said this event is for everyone, young and old to enjoy.

“At the birth of this idea, there was a great sense of obligation to the community, our hometown and our family. Ttraditions and cultures are very important to us. We felt like this was long overdue. We have a mantra, ‘We are the people’s games.’ For every man. If you come to the games, you are a spectator because you want to be, but we encourage everyone to be involved in the games,” said Fisher. “None of this would be possible without everyone who has supported us. We have had people put their own money and time into ensuring the success of this event.”

Gates open at noon on Friday. If you bought tickets through EventBrite, please bring proof of purchase. Tickets can also be purchased at the gate: $20 for adults, $15 for local heroes, $10 for ages 6 to 10, and 5 and under is free. That cost covers the whole weekend. Tent camping spots are available, first come first serve for $10 per night per person. Kids 10 and under are free.

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The Scottish American Military Society Post 1775 is the official Color Guard at this year's Foothills Highlands Games. SAMS Post 1775 Color Guard opens almost every Highland Game in North Carolina and South Carolina.

Events for kids include Wee Heavy Athletics, the Braemar Balloon Pop, Irish Potato Sack Race, pumpkin decorating, fairy hair, hay ride, costume contest, toy vendors and trick-or-treating.

For more information, visit them at Foothills Highland Games on Facebook.

Schedule of Events


Gates open at Noon

4 p.m. Celtic Potluck

5 p.m. Paint and Sip. Only 20 spots available. $20 fee.

7 p.m. Raising of the Clans/Torchlight Ceremony

8 p.m. Piper Jones Band

9 p.m. Highland Hammerschlagen

10 p.m. Bagpipes & Bonfire


8 a.m. Opening Ceremonies

9 a.m. Kilted Mile

10 a.m. Highland Wrestling

11 a.m. Celtic Dance

11 a.m. Blacksmith Demo

12 p.m. Piper Jones Band

4 p.m. Sheep Hearding Demo

5 p.m. Great Kilt Demo

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6 p.m. Axe Throwing

6 p.m. The Bouzouki Brothers

7 p.m. Whiskey Tasting

10 p.m. Celtic Rock

10 p.m. Highland Hammerschlagen

11 p.m. Bagpipes & Bonfire

12 a.m. Curfew


9 a.m. Worship Service

10 a.m.: Kirkin ‘O’The Tartan

11 a.m. Clan Tug-o-War

12 p.m. Clan Parade

1 p.m. Closing Ceremonies


Sport Kilt

McDowell Fitness

Broken Bar

Titan Jiu-jitsu

Pressley Made

Harpers Custom Shirts and Embroidery

828 Nutrition

Marion Wing Factory

Dapper Dan Entertainment

Food vendors:

Mama T’s Rollin’ Snack Shack


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The Scottish Cottage

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