Mountain Georgia Mountain Games
thanks to Terry Cochran
for sending us this information
Stone Mountain, Georgia Highland Games October 21-22, 2000
Saturday, October 21
Stone Mountain is geologically a monadnock of small mountain proportions (mostly granite and marble) located in a beautiful wooded park with a lake just north of Atlanta, Georgia. Carved on its huge side is a sculpture showing Confederate Generals of the US Civil War and is a big tourist attraction in the Atlanta area. The Highland Games are held each October at this site. It has natural beauty, camping, nice fields for competition, and ample parking!
As I drove through the main gate of Stone Mountain Park early in the morning, I put the windows down in my car and listened. The sound of pipes was echoing through mist filled woods all over the park! It was eerie (being close to Hallows, or Samhain) and wonderful to hear the music welcoming the thousands of guests entering with me.
The Stone Mountain Games are like no other games I’ve ever seen – the Clan tents aren’t in neat lines skirting the athletic field – no, they’re scattered along wooded paths where visitors may wander
(see picture above) and visit casually (in Georgia, it’s still hot and especially in the full sun).
True to Southern and Scottish hospitality, each Clan tent has someone nice to act as greeter and each has a table full of food to share! Someone stopping by our Clan tent remarked, “You Frasers sure know how to put on a feast!” Quite true.
This year’s Guest of Honor was Lorne Gillean Iain Maclaine of Lochbuie, Baron of Moy and 26th hereditary Chief of Clan Gillean of Lochbuie. This was his fourth visit to the Stone Mountain Games! (He’s on the right)
With him was his son, Angus Gillean Matthew Maclaine. It was a pleasure to meet them both and the members of Clan Maclaine. They’re quite nice!
Saturday was the beginning of competitions in piping, drumming, Highland dance, Scottish harp and athletics.
The day opened with the massed pipe and drum bands. Represented were the Host Band, John Mohr MacIntosh and guests, Atlanta Pipe Band, City of Washington DC Pipe Band, and a Canadian pipe band.
I wandered back just after opening ceremonies into the woods to hear the harp (Clarsach) competition. They were also doing performances and giving hands-on seminars! Not far from the harp tent, I found the tent set up for
fiddling. There I heard the playing of Laura Risk, who is known for her exceptional talent with Scottish, Irish, and Cape Breton fiddle music.
I then wandered back toward the athletic field and watched some of the professional competition. I was amazed at the variety of nationalities mixed with Scots who were there! Some were also of French, US, Irish, and Icelandic heritage! All of them were huge!
Well, it got hot in the afternoon, so I walked through the trails in the woods to cool off and came upon Kenn Brooks of the 78th Fraser Highlander Regiment cleaning his Brown Bess flintlock rifle and standing next to the regiment’s mascot, a Harris Hawk. Both were quite impressive.
There was music throughout the woods with musicians Connie Dover, Alex Beaton, Clandestine, Susie Petrov, Hanneke Cassel, and the Full Circle Band. I did purchase a few CD’s from them! They were all marvelous musicians.
Saturday evening there was entertainment and country dancing at an Atlanta hotel that many enjoyed. I ended up at the Fraser ceilidh that our clan holds each year. The hosts were Blake and Meredith Fraser, Convener for Georgia and Southeast Regional Commissioner for Clan Fraser, USA. His father, Douglas Fraser, sat by the fire and told stories. Smokey Brooks (artist) was drawing gifts for the ladies. He’s quite a remarkable artist and person! I learned axe-throwing in the beautiful and quite spacious back yard! Thanks to Blake and Meredith for their hospitality and kindness.
Other Pictures from Saturday, October 21:
Clan Ross invited me in for a bit of Glenmorangie. Clan Cochrane, a rarity, had
their tent set up. I say a rarity, because I have seen them only at Stone Mountain and Grandfather Mountain. It was good to see you all!
The massed bands (and their leaders) were impressive. It made the blood race!
Sunday October 22nd
Sunday morning was hotter than Saturday and not much mist was in the woods. I entered the park to hear the Kirking of the Tartans and a child was being christened! (in fact, there were several christenings). The Highland Dance Competition began right after the service.
On the athletic field, Amateur competition began. Amateur events were the Clachneart (the shotput stone), the sheaf toss, the 28lb
weight throw, the 56ln weight throw, the 22lb hammer throw, and the caber toss.
Congratulations to Greg St. Clair, the all ‘round Amateur winner!
During the athletics, the parade field had the Kilted Mile (2km) race. Anyone can enter, as long as they’re kilted. Clan Anderson had the best participation. Runners were instructed not to run anyone down, no elbowing, and if you lose your kilt, you’re on your own!
Around 1 pm, we all lined up for the Parade of Tartans – where all the clans are called. I was with the Frasers, so did not get pictures. The whole parade field was full in Indian Summer heat! MacLaine of Lochbuie presented awards and Clan Guthrie was recognized as best Clan Tent. Then Winnie McIntosh of the Creek Indian Nation was brought to Lord MacLaine. He had something to set right from the Clan Chiefs of Scotland! It seems in 1890, at the Wounded Knee massacre, a Sioux Ghost Shirt was taken by a soldier back to Scotland as a souvenir. The shirt was returned to the South Dakota tribe in 1998 (it is a sacred item). As a further apology from the Scottish Chiefs, Lord MacLaine presented a peace pipe to the Creek Nation. Winnie McIntosh received it with heartfelt thanks on behalf of the Native peoples of America and all cheered. So many of those on the field are not only of Scots heritage, but also of Native American heritage. Well done!
Mid-afternoon began the Clan Challenge. Any clan may participate, but only one entrant per clan is allowed. It’s a heavy athletic competition. The athlete with the most points is the winner. Our entrant, Scott Frasure, tied for 2nd!
The next treat was on the parade field in the person of the 78th Fraser Highlanders in regimental dress, carrying their sturdy Brown Bess rifles. They had a firing demonstration in battle formation! With them was Winnie McIntosh of the Creek Indian Nation.
It was getting hot and late in the afternoon and I hadn’t done any shopping! There were too many talented vendors and my apologies to any I missed. My bank cards were definitely put to use!
The shopping done, I packed up my gear, cooler, et.al., and said my farewells to Clan Fraser. A fun games, well organized, great Southern hospitality & friendship all around! Highly recommended!
Other Pictures from SMHG: