Flagmen were featured at the Loch Norman Highland Games at last yearâ€™s event. This yearâ€™s games begin this weekend at Rural Hill Farm in Huntersville. Contributed / LTN Photo
Residents can get a unique taste of Scottish heritage this weekend.
Thousands of people will crowd the Rural Hill Farm in Huntersville to see everything from Highland dancers, Celtic music, piping and drumming and a harp competition at the Loch Norman Highland Games.
The 11th annual event is one of the most popular family-oriented events in the area. Last year it drew a crowd of 10,000 people.
Keets F. Taylor, interim executive director of the Catawba Valley Scottish Society, said it is a lot of fun.
â€œYou donâ€™t have to be Scottish to have a good time,â€ she said.
Taylor said 21 pipe bands will come to the farm this year as well as the No. 1 top Canadian Highland dancer.
Last year the event drew 123 Highland dancers from 17 states and Canada.
Kay Killan, who is on the board of directors for the society, has attended the Loch Norman Highland Games every year.
This is her first year on the board.
â€œI have a lot of friends on the board and they encouraged me to get involved,â€ she said.
Killian said she has noticed that every year the event continues to grow.
â€œItâ€™s fun and colorful,â€ she said. â€œThere is so much to do, and it is neat to learn about the heritage.â€
Festivities begin Friday evening with the â€œCall to the Clansâ€ Torchlight ceremony.
Advance tickets are required for this.
Adult tickets for the Call to the Clans are $20, children 12 and younger are $10. A buffet dinner will start at 7 p.m.
Saturdayâ€™s activities kick off at 8 a.m. with the Highland Dancing competition at 8:30 a.m. The Piping and Drumming competition, the Scottish Fiddling workshop and the Single Malt Whisky Seminar will all take place Saturday. Entertainment will continue until 8 p.m.
Sunday the field will open at 8 a.m. The National Scottish Harp competition, the Parade of the Tartans and the Sheepherding demonstration will all take place Sunday. Closing ceremonies will be at 4:45 p.m.
Tickets are $15 for Saturday, and $10 for Sunday. A two day advance pass is $20. Students 10 to17 are $5 each day and nine and younger are free. Pets are not allowed.
Rural Hill Farm is located off of N.C. 73 in Huntersville. For more information go to www.ruralhillfarm.org or call 704-875-3113. by Amy Wadsworth