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Flora Macdonald Games

Our thanks to Terry Cochran for sending us this information

The Flora McDonald Highland Games were held October 7th 2000 in Red Springs, North Carolina. Red Springs is a very small town near Lumberton and is located in the Southeast of the state, not very far from the Cape Fear area. The Cape Fear is the first part of North Carolina settled by the Scots and many of their descendants are there today. I was rewarded with a simply beautiful day under a Carolina blue sky and the very friendly people of Red Springs and its surrounds.

These games are named in honor of Flora McDonald, the woman who saved the life of Prince Charles after the Rising by dressing him as an Irish spinning maid and taking him by boat from Benbecula to Skye and off to France. In Red Springs is the Flora McDonald Academy, the place where the games are held. Highlanders from this area fought on both sides during the Revolution.

Red Springs itself is just full of Southern (and also Scottish) hospitality. The prominent name here is MacNeill. In fact, the MacNeill Clan was the featured clan at these games. The first land grant from North Carolina was given to Hector MacNeill in 1775 (and that’s half of Red Springs today). The town is famous for it’s red iron/sulphur springs.

The Honored Guests of this year’s Games are Royce and Doris McNeill. Royce is a retired Senior Purchasing Agent for Duke Power Company. He and Doris have been solidly involved in the community and he has been Clan MacNeill president for the past 20 years, promoting Scottish heritage and studies. In May of this year, Royce was awarded the Ellis Island Medal of Honor for his work in promoting the Scottish culture, heritage and goodwill between America and Scotland.

Athlete of the Day:  Mark Palmer of Rochester, NY
Amateur Athlete of the Day: Eric Frasure of Charlotte, NC
Piper of the Day: Hector McDonald of Ontario, Canada
Best Clan Tent:  Clan Montgomery
Dancer of the Day: Sandy Kennedy of Raleigh, NC


The Caber Toss
Clan Fraser was well represented with 4 entrants in the heavy athletic events! Three of them were Scott Frasure and his two sons.

Caber Toss
15 year old Eric Frasure won the event (and most of the others) by tossing the caber as if it were a toothpick straight up at 12 o'clock! 
The Hammer Throw was won again by Eric Frasure.
The Hammer Throw was won again by Eric Frasure.
Drum major for Grandfather Mountain Highland Pipe & Drum Band
Drum major for Grandfather Mountain Highland Pipe & Drum Band
A wee laddie all decked out in his finest!
A wee laddie all decked out in his finest!
Scott Frasure throws the 56 pound weight
Scott Frasure throws the 56 pound weight
The featured Clan at FMHG was Clan MacNeill.
The featured Clan at FMHG was Clan MacNeill. Red Springs was settled by the MacNeills.
Royce McNeill wearing his Ellis Island Medal!
They were well represented and I managed to find and capture the picture of the most distinguished Royce McNeill wearing his Ellis Island Medal!
There was spinning and weaving demonstrated by Anne Landin of "The Shepherd's Plaide" from Siler City, NC.
There was spinning and weaving demonstrated by Anne Landin of "The Shepherd's Plaide" from Siler City, NC. She hand weaves tartans and rugs!
Eric Frasure tosses the hammer to win that event!
Eric Frasure tosses the hammer to win that event!
There was entertainment for the children with clowns, pony rides and a playground.
There was entertainment for the children with clowns, pony rides and a playground.
"Pepper", a champion Border Collie sits at the ready.
"Pepper", a champion Border Collie sits at the ready. She consistently wins sheep herding and cattle herding competitions! At Flora McDonald, she not only herded sheep, she herded Texas Longhorn cattle!
famed Glaswegian, Alex Beaton
There was Celtic music everywhere with entertainers Bragh Adair (from Raleigh, NC), Seven Nations, and famed Glaswegian, Alex Beaton (pictured).
Clan Ross NC Commissioner Ches Crow and his wife
Clan Ross NC Commissioner Ches Crow and his wife in a vendor booth with GMHG mystery lass, Gail L'Esperence. Vendors had everything from clan badges, tartans, ruanas, piping equipment and music to heather plants, teas, and honeys from Scotland!
The Clan Ross tent
The Clan Ross tent was nicely decked out and Ross members standing ready to answer questions about the Clan. They made us most welcome with homemade oatcakes!
Clan McLaren had costumed members greeting visitors who came by.
Clan McLaren had costumed members greeting visitors who came by. The old Renaissance or later garb is becoming popular at Highland Games in the United States.

 

 


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