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7TH ANNUAL HIGHLAND GAMES OPENS

AZTEC HIGHLAND GAMES CELEBRATE CELTIC CULTURE, ATHLETICS, MUSIC AND DANCE

 

October 5, 2018

southwest sky pipes and drums from Williams, arizona open the celebration at 2017 Games - 2017 TALON

by TALON staff

The first weekend of October brings the Highland Games and Celtic Festival to Riverside Park in Aztec. The games in Aztec began in 2011 as the brainstorm idea of John Cater. Carl Freuden informed the founding group that there was talk and interest floating around the area which encouraged Aztec to organize the event. Jessica Polatty was active in the original group and is still very involved in managing the games today.

Francis Brebner, a retired professional competitor,originally from Peterhead Scotland, shared about the history of the games and the events.

According to Brebner, the history of Highland Games dates back over 3,500 years to 1500 BC. It began at the Telton games in Ireland. These games were put on in honor of Queen Telde who had passed away.

One of the first throwing events was a chariot wheel thrown for distance. Other events that took place were Wrestling, running, horseback riding, and hand to hand combat. One of the oldest events of the throwing disciplines is stone putting followed by the caber toss.

Brebner has competed all around the world but really enjoyed the games in Aztec. "The venue at Riverside Park is wonderful" he explained. "It is how traditional games should be and is reminiscent of the games in the villages in Scotland" he said.

Scott Michlin will MC the games again this year. He recently spoke with TALON on the phone. While he doesn't know of any Celtic family roots, he enjoys Celtic history. When asked what he enjoys about the festival he answered, "I enjoy all of it actually." Michlin is looking forward to the Bonny Knee Competition this year. "I've been a finalist in past years," he said, but he's not sure how his knees will hold up to younger competitors.

The 2018 Highland Games are on Saturday and Sunday, October 6 and 7 at Riverside Park in Aztec. For more information, visit the Aztec Highland Games website at http://www.aztechighlandgames.com. Registration is open online for athletes and the dance competition. Athletes can also register at the games on Saturday and Sunday from 7:30-8:30 am.

 

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