Northeast Florida Scottish Games & Festival

What: 2015 Northeast Florida Scottish Games & Festival
When: Saturday February 28th – 9am-10pm
Where: Clay County Fairgrounds

The 2015 Northeast Florida Scottish Games & Festival is upon us. This will be the 20th anniversary of the games and festival where attendees can expect to see Scottish heavy athletics, Highland dancing, Scottish breed dogs, Scottish pipe and drum bands as well as food and merchandise vendors. This is the opportunity that you’ve been waiting for to finally try mutton!

The event has grown every year and is now the largest one-day games in Florida and a good portion of the southeast. More than bagpipes and tossing incredibly heavy objects, there will be 40 different Scottish Clans, so festival-goers can find out which one they are aligned with. There will also be a Scottish Tartan museum, frisbee dogs, fiddle competition, fencing and a large area with children’s activities. It’s as much Scottish culture as you can handle in a day!

Audie Gibson, the event’s President, told me that the event is significant because it’s an “opportunity to present to Northeast Florida the history and culture of Scotland. Descendants of Scotland were principles in the formation of our great nation and legal system.” A little Scottish nationalism goes along way when you’re looking for a fun day out. He also said that while he’s not sure how far the Scottish community reaches in the area, that the community is very vibrant and active.

There are several ways to participate in the festival beyond attending and enjoying yourself. You can compete in the athletic competition, but it is strongly recommended that you attend an athletic clinic prior to signing up. And if you would like to sign up for the committee, Audie says that the only requirement is to “have a love for Scotland and want to promote the heritage and culture of Scotland.” It is an all-volunteer organization and a 503c3 nonprofit.

So don’t be a numpty bawbag, and get out to the 20th anniversary of the Northeast Florida Scottish Games & Festival at the Clay County Fairgrounds in Green Cove Springs. The festival begins at 9am and runs until 10pm. And if you’re worried about all those kilts and potential wardrobe malfunctions, Audie assured me that it hasn’t happened yet, but to be careful in the event of a strong breeze.

About Brenton Crozier

Brenton has lived in Jacksonville for nearly 25 years and worked in various capacities in the digital marketing industry. He was the Multimedia Producer for the NPR show, State of the Re:Union and has written for EU Jacksonville for more than 7 years. Follow him on Twitter: @brentoncrozier.