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The Ellen Payne Odom Genealogy Library Family Tree
The Family Tree - October/November 2004
A Scottish Festival on the Pacific Shore !

The Seaside Highland Games is held the second weekend in October each year at beautiful Seaside Park—the County Fairgrounds in Ventura, CA.  This year’s event dates are October 8, 9 & 10 and festivities will be launched on Friday evening with a raft of fun events at the Four Points Sheraton Hotel, one of the Games’ Special Host Hotels.  A Single Malt Scotch tasting is being offered for those so inclined (and about a hundred were “inclined” last year) !  This year arrangements have been made for twice that number wishing to study samplings of these unique beverages.  Following immediately is a time for great food and fine entertainment. “A Scottish Evening” commences with a fine buffet supper, live entertainment by the Festival’s world-class performers (the incomparable Alex Beaton, The Browne Sisters & George Cavanaugh and Celtic songbird Linda Dewar) and a Scottish Fashion Show.

Events on the Fairground will begin even before the gates open at 9 AM on Saturday and Sunday.  So many Scottish Highland Dancers are competing that every minute of both days will find that stage area aflutter with colorfully costumed dancers vying for trophies and titles.  The same holds for the Scottish Heavy Athletic competitors.  These behemoth-sized young men will be tossing stones and weights for height and distance and will amaze the crowds in their attempts to turn the caber, the telephone pole-like tree trunk.  Participation is allowed and encouraged with the Scottish Country Dancers in McBride Hall and for all youngsters in the vast Children’s Glen.  Bagpipers, drummers and pipe bands will all be in competition and the skirl of the pipes can be heard from one end of “Clan Row” to the other.  Clan Row is the weekend home of sixty to seventy Scottish Clan Societies who have unfurled flags and banners in a colorful array and stand ready to help you find an unknown Scottish connection or just to share a bit of history, genealogy or simple fellowship. 

The entertainment stages will be alive with the performers already named and a fine selection of more contemporary stars including Eric Rigler & Bad Haggis, The Wicked Tinkers and Tom MacLear and his group MACLEAR. 

Food, beverage and merchandise vendors abound in and around the Fairgrounds’ massive Halls where you can purchase British and American products to eat, drink and wear.  Tartan is everywhere and going home with a swatch of the homeland’s goods is on many a shopper’s mind (especially with the holidays fast approaching). 

Don’t miss Bydand Forever, the Gordon Highlanders from San Diego and the Drummond Ranch Herding Dog Demonstrations in Morgan Arena.  The Grand Parade and Opening Ceremonies at noon on Saturday, a special dedication called Kirkin’ of the Tartans on Sunday morning and a wrap-up of the weekend’s results commence with a Massed Bands Closing Ceremony.

For more information call Games Headquarters at 818-886-4968 or e-mail or visit the website:

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