Scotland: It’s more than just men in skirts playing bagpipes. And when the clans gather in Utah, you get a chance for a uniquely comprehensive flavor of Scotland.
The Highland Games & Scottish Festival definitely shares some common elements with other summer ethnic festivals. Performers—competing highland dancers, pipers and drummers, in this case—present authentic folk arts. Musical groups (like Wicked Tinkers and Kirkmount) provide entertainment. And vendors offer up a taste of the culture’s cuisine and crafts.
But you’re unlikely to find anything quite like the mini-Olympiad of the Highland Games athletic competitions. Feel like launching a 22-pound braemar stone? Tossing a sheaf (a burlap bag filled with hay)? Hurling a caber (an 18-foot-long tree stump)? Probably best just to observe if you’re not experienced. Once you’ve seen these feats of strength, you’ll realize that real men do wear kilts.