Travel Time

Scottish Highland Gathering & Games

It’s that time of year when the Scottish Highland Gathering and Games come to Pleasanton. This is our eleventh year so come on down to Pleasanton and enjoy being Scottish for a day (or two).
The Caledonian Club of San Francisco’s Scottish Highland Gathering and Games have taken place every year since 1866. They have survived World Wars, earthquakes, economic depressions and Bay Bridge closures. Since that inaugural event in San Francisco’s Hayes Park, the scale of the Games has grown as more events were added and bigger crowds turned up. Over the years, the Games have been held at various locations in San Francisco, Sausalito and Oakland before settling on Santa Rosa in 1962. The Games remained there for the next 32 years. In 1994, the Games moved again to the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton where they’ve been held ever since.
Today, the Caledonian Club of San Francisco’s Scottish Highland Gathering and Games are the largest in the USA. This year’s 152nd Games is a 2-day event that will take place on September 2-3 at the Alameda County Fairgrounds in Pleasanton. It’s considered one of the Greater Bay Area’s best family entertainment values.
Hear the sounds of more than 25 pipe bands from the U.S. and Canada, all competing for top recognition, and providing a unique experience in the “Massed Bands” held each afternoon as part of the spectacular closing program in front of the main grandstands. Olympic class athletes throwing a 130-pound, 22 foot log into the air in precise strength and agility, propelling the “caber” end-for-end to attempt a perfect score. Highland dancing competition and Scottish country dancing exhibitions to the sound of bagpipe and fiddle, plus Celtic harpers and fiddlers, all part of the weekend activities. All of this on eight stages with more than a dozen acts throughout the fairgrounds. Perhaps you have a bit of Scottish heritage within your veins. Check it out among nearly one- hundred clans represented in their colorful clan tents.
The youngsters are not forgotten at the Games. The Children’s Glen, with games, prizes and face-painting, are a treat for the little tykes. They, along with their parents, will be enthralled by the Birds of Prey, exhibiting falcons, owls and other raptors. The Clydesdale wagon team and the Highland Cattle are must-see, as it is the officially sanctioned Sheep Dog Trails.
For the adults, the Whisky Live event is an opportunity, at a modest price, to experience top single malts and blended whiskies, as well as attend a whisky seminar to learn about Scotland’s famed spirits.
Come see us at our booth right inside the main (Green) entrance.  We are there all day Saturday and Sunday.
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