DUDES. Before last Saturday I had NO IDEA there was such a gigantic Scottish community in the Phoenix metro area, but now I know better. There totally is. My friend Becca told me she was throwing stuff in the Arizona Highland Games, that there was a Groupon for tickets, and that we should go.
It sounded like something right up my random alley and I bought tickets the next day. I got us a sitter and on Saturday we cruised over to Phoenix to see what we could see.
David and I had originally planned to take the baby with us, but lucked out when Aunt Liz offered to watch all three kiddos at the last minute. I’m so glad too, because it was a wee bit on the sunny and warm side. (Understatement. It was hot. There was no shade. Baby boy would’ve fried.) Not that that stopped anyone from having a jolly time. Or from wearing a GIGANTIC BEEFEATER and the fanciest tartan ensemble ever.
Isn’t he majestic?
I swear I saw more bagpipes and kilts in a few hours than I’ve seen in my entire life combined.
SO MANY BAGPIPES. SO MANY KILTS.
There were burly bearded men swinging weighted hammers around and launching them across fields, and the most hard-core of women hefting cabers thrice their height.
Of course there was Becca, throwing gigantic stones like it was no big thing.
She’s the coolest.
There was traditional dancing and slightly less-than-traditional fencing. (Check out those warm-up pants!)
And there was this cellphone guy clearly not appreciating the Wicked Tinkers as much as he should’ve.
The dude on the left was ROCKING that didgeridoo, but the drums and bagpipes were definitely holding their own. I was weirdly into it.
Despite it being a million degrees out, we split the most delicious piping hot steak and veggie hand-pie. Thank goodness for iced lemonade to wash it down. And while I had no interest in sampling the haggis (gag) I do regret not eating like five more of those pies. Mmmm…tasty tasty meat pie.
It was almost like a renaissance fair, but with infinitely more tartan. All told it made for a delightfully quirky afternoon date. We’re pretty sure we’ll go again next year. Because apparently this was the 52nd Arizona Highland Games that The Caledonian Society of Arizona has put on and I don’t imagine they’ll be stopping any time soon.
(Although they might consider tucking an ice block inside that poor guy’s furry hat next time. Traditional Scottish clothing just wasn’t made for this desert.)