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Scottish American Society

Can't get to Scotland next year?  Celebrate your heritage at the Ohio Scottish Games.

The Ohio Scottish Games are held the 4th Saturday of June at the Lorain County Fairground in Wellington, Ohio. Established in 1977, The Ohio Scottish Games are the Premiere Games in the area.  A fun family day, full of entertainment for everyone.   


36th Annual
June 22nd [that's this Saturday, folks]
Lorain County Fairgrounds
Wellington Ohio
Featuring food, fun, music, competitions, vendors, beer tent, border collies, children's games, Clydesdale Horses, Clan Area, Genealogy, massed pipe bands, vintage cars, and much, much more. 
Gates open: 9:00
Senior (60+) - $10
Junior (12-17) - $8
Children (11 & under) Free
Parking - free and abundant.  Easy access to Fairgrounds.

Hope you didn't miss the big event.  Ohio Scottish Games was last weekend, and what joy it offered.  For those of you who stopped by our area, did you notice?  We had our much duck-taped camper parked behind us in the adjacent section of the barn and we stayed the night Friday to Saturday.  We laughingly functioned as "Security."  Craig Shepperly brought a $90,000 Jaguar to the "Hole-in-One" contest at the golf outing on Thursday.  The prize was a two year lease on that car.  Too bad that didn't get more publicity.  I think the actual winner was only 12 years old and not eligible to win it.  But what a beauty. 

We always enjoy the Ohio Scottish Games.  It's much like being at a giant family reunion.  So many friends, relatives, and familiar faces.  In gossiping at the various areas, I found out who is getting married soon, who is 11 weeks into her next pregnancy, and who will not be with their current spouse at the next festival. The Highland Cattle folk will have eleven new foals this year, and friends with vintage cars were happy to show off their vehicles. I got a chance to hug our lovely Ann and Mary - two of the Walsh girls who competed in the dancing.  We've known and loved them since they were born.  Happily we fed them cupcakes and cookies. They giggled and laughed and talked about their joys and teen-aged problems. 

Jack Robertson played the pipes for us, while Joan played the fiddle.  What a joy to have them around. They entertained throughout the clan area and at the Gaelic Mod banquet in Oberlin afterward.  When I heard “Jingle Bells” being played on the bagpipes, I knew they were entertaining Clan Claus. (Yes, that Claus.) And incidentally, Clan Claus won Best Clan Tent award.  As someone said, "Who can compete with Santa Claus?"

Many folks stopped by our Genealogy section to share tidbits about their family history. Some were fascinating and some we took with a grain of salt, but hopefully a believing smile. (I really can't quite imagine he could trace his family history directly back to the 1st century.)  Himself held the less than two month old daughter of Elisa and Hector Torres. Baby Seline is the youngest member of our Scottish American family.  (She was born just a few days before the Beltane.)   It was an adorable sight to see him smiling down at that baby and a delight for all of us that they allowed us to enjoy their precious gift.

Many thanks to all who helped with the Genealogy Table and the Hospitality section.  Especially:  Gene & Betty Marcus, Ann & Bill Heflin, David and Dianne Allison, Nancy Haggard Davis, Jack & Joan Robertson, and Himself, Jim Frost. 

So, our long weekend is over. The Thursday golf outing has finished and Beaton Family can relax for another year  The barbecue dinner, concert, and Ceilidh on Friday is a happy memory.  Bill Kennedy introduced the clans with a bit of history and a flourish. The "Grand March" got nearly everyone on their feet. Gone are the hordes of people who invaded the fairgrounds on Saturday. The food vendors were certainly creative. I'm still trying to figure out what a Scottish taco is. ( I didn't dare try it.)  Many watched their children playing on the inflatables and competing in the Children's Games, supervised by the intrepid David Macgregor. In honor of the new film “Brave” - a Prince and Princess were chosen. Some of the prizes were furnished by the Disney folks who were present. (The red wig on Reid Kennedy was memorable.) 

After everyone had gone home, we went to the Gaelic Mod Awards banquet and enjoyed the food and the Ceilidh.  We decided to pack up our camper at Midnight and depart. The excitement was past, the Jaguar had left, and we were anxious to get home. All that is left now is to begin plans for next year. The festival is over, but the memories will warm our hearts for a long time.


Jack & Joan Robertson serenading passers-by.

This year marked the 34th that the Ohio games have been in existence.  Competitions in various fields included:  Highland Dancing, Athletics, Solo piping and Drum competitions, Fiddle, Harp, and the Gaelic Mod.  There was the running of the kilted mile.  The continuous entertainment featured Scottish singers, musicians and dancers.  Border collies demonstrated their prowess, and highland cattle were on display. There were children's games, clan tents, many vendors and craftors selling items to everyone's taste and pocketbook, great pipe bands and a massed band that thrilled all those within earshot.
Everything about the games this year was just about perfect. The weather cooperated beautifully. The Friday concert was lovely with Charlie Zahm enthralling the crowd and beautiful singing as well.  It was indeed a grand presentation .  After the concert, Donne & Craig Shepperly managed to convince many folks to carry a torch for their clan or group. Dancing, singing, and entertainment in the pavilion followed the torchlight parade.

We did our Genealogy table on Saturday and were absolutely swamped.  I hope we were able to direct folks to the right clan tables.  We did our best. 

The Mod banquet/ceilidh at the Oberlin Inn was as charming as ever. Frances Acar did her usual wonderful job of arranging things. After an excellent dinner and the awards to the singers, the evening was highlighted by highland dancing, piping, impromptu concerts on the harmonica, button box, washtub (?), bodhran, Celtic music by Mick Hurray and Anne Alexander, various raconteurs and the spellbinding voices of Gaelic singers from here and from Scotland.

What a wonderful weekend.  I'm just sorry it's over.  For those of you who missed it, I'm truly sorry, too.  This was one of the best.  Only one problem - it will be really tough to top it next year.  But I think I can speak for everyone when I say - we'll give it a heck of a try.  Mark it on your calendar for next year, folks.  It's a great day out for an individual or a family.  A must for all who have even a wee drop of Scottish blood or an interest in the culture and sound of Scotland.

If you'd like to see a few photos taken at Wellington this year, click here.

Photo collage thanks to Sheila Bernes

In 2011 the games were held the 23rd. 24th. and 25th of June.  On June 25th, the Scottish American Society had a Hospitality area there, together with a video display of Scottish photos. We also helped visitors with information on Genealogy and directing folks to their own clan heritage. 

Click here for photos taken at the 2009 games.


Mike Mihalic at the Creiff Perthshire games...

Of particular interest is the fact that the Ohio Scottish Games are now "twinned" with the Creiff Perthshire Scottish Games (in Scotland).  A recent article in the Highlander Magazine (Jan/Feb 2009 issue) featured a photo our own Mike Mihalic (president of Ohio Scottish Games) signing a proclamation to that effect with John McWilliam, chairman of the Creiff Highland Games.  If you have the issue, check page 69.

For detailed information on the games and on the Scottish American Cultural Society of Ohio, click here.