13th Annual Highland Games & Picnic

Friday, June 23rd, 9 a.m. - Noon • Piankatank Ruritan Recreational Field

Bus leaves the library at 8:45 a.m.

highland games front

Join us in celebrating a wee bit of Scotland! • Ages 6 -14

Prizes are awarded by age group.

Games include: Turning the Caber • Sheaf Toss • Clachneart • Tug-of-war



Sponsored by the Friends of the Mathews Memorial Library

The Highland Games have been in existence since before the dawn of Christianity. In those days, the gatherings were essentially war games designed to select the best warriors in each family tribe or clan. Participants in our Highland games will compete in fun and challenging Celtic tests of strength, endurance and skill.

Turning the Caber

The caber toss is a traditional Scottish athletic event practiced at the Scottish Highland Games involving the tossing of a large wooden pole called a caber. It is said to have developed from the need to toss logs across narrow chasms to cross them. In Scotland the caber is usually made from a Larch tree. A caber typically is 19 feet 6 inches tall and weighs 175 pounds. 

turning the caber real

turning the caber kids

Sheaf Toss

The sheaf toss has been incorporated as an event at many of the Scottish highland games although technically it is not itself a heavy athletics event. A pitchfork is used to hurl a burlap bag stuffed with straw over a horizontal bar above the competitor's head. Typical weight for the bag is 16 pounds.

 sheaf toss real
  sheaf toss kids


The stone put is one of the main Scottish heavy athletic events at modern-day Highland games gatherings. Similar to the shot put, the stone put more frequently uses an ordinary stone or rock instead of a steel ball. The weight of the stone will vary from 16 to 26 lb for men (or 8 to 18 lb for women) depending on which type of stone put event (Braemar stone or Open stone)

As with most aspects of the Scottish Highland games, and Scottish Highlands culture generally, a certain amount of legend has grown around the origins and antiquity of the stone put.

In Clach Neart (or Stone of Strength), a smaller stone, variable in weight, but around 20 or 30 lb, is employed. The object is to see how far the stone can be thrown or putted.

clachneart real


clachneart kids

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