The Highland Games



This year we welcome back the Muskegon Highland Games to the Michigan Irish Music Festival! Some say versions of the Highland Games have been within the Celtic/Gaelic Community before the dawn of Christianity. The gatherings were said to be “war games” designed to choose the best warriors in each family “clan”. The 1st Games in Scotland organized & designated as a sporting event in the 11th century, was during the reign of King Malcom III (1058-1093). Games were held in Scotland until the Battle of Culloden in 1746. After a defeat by the English, the Act of Proscription was in place that banned playing of the bagpipe, wearing of the kilt, gathering of the people, & the carrying of arms; under the penalty of deportation or death. After the repeal of the Proscription, in the 18th Century, Highland Societies began forming & in 1781 the 1st society “Gathering” was held at Falkirk & this led to the Gathering of the Clans & the Highland Games as we know them today. By the end of the 1820’s Games were once again being held throughout Scotland.


In the U. S. the 1st Highland Games were organized by the Highland Society of New York in the mid 1800s. Today's competitors, both men and women, compete in the stone throw, sheaf toss, 16# hammer toss, weight for height & distance, & the ever popular CABER TOSS (a log approx.. 18’– 20’ long). Stop by & cheer on these athletes & share the spirit of good old competition. Perhaps, you may even see a kilted athlete wearing your family tartan & share the support of tradition.

Want to compete in the Highland Games? Registration Info Here

The Highland Games Schedule





Friday, September 16
The Highland Games
7:00 PM Highland Games Demonstration
Saturday, September 17
The Highland Games
10:00 AM Athlete Arrival
11:00 AM Intro & Open Stone Shot Put
11:45 AM Light Weight for Distance Toss
12:30 PM 16# Hammer Toss
2:00 PM Caber Toss
3:00 PM Sheaf Toss
4:00 PM 56# & 42# Weights Over Bar



Michigan Irish music festival

2743 Henry Street, #231
Muskegon, Michigan 49441
(mailing address)

Festival location is Heritage Landing
701 Shoreline Drive
Muskegon, MI 49440
PH: 231-683-2065