38th Annual Highland Games
July 8th & 9th, 2022
Our Chieftain for 2022 will be Sydney Young. Sidney was a board member of the Payson Scottish Festival for over 25 years. The board recognizes her many years of service and has honored her with the role of Chieftain.
Join us July 8th and 9th, 2022!
The excitement begins Friday night with food and entertainment at the park. Prepare for fun on Saturday with Highland Dance, Highland Athletics, and bagpipe competitions. Listen to Celtic music and enjoy entertaining Scottish dances ranging from a sword dance to an Irish jig.
Don't miss the Friday night entertainment and strongman competitions. Join us for Opening Ceremonies and Massed Bands Saturday at noon. Experience traditional ethnic food, vendors, and clans. Come and enjoy the fun family atmosphere of the Scottish Festival. Be sure to check out the schedule of events so you don't miss your favorite activities!
But please consider making a donation to keep this event going.
Friday 5:00 PM - 9:30 PM. Saturday 9 AM - 6:00 PM.
Payson Memorial Park
300 S Main St, Payson, UT 84651
Parking mostly on street.
Payson City does not allow dogs in the Memorial Park.
Come connect to your Scottish roots. Our Clan row is the place to visit to find the heart and soul of the “family” in our games.
With a variety of clans in attendance, you are sure to make some new friends as you discover Scottish history and your own personal connections.
Clans will be available Saturday 9AM -5PM. Some clans will be set up by Friday at 6PM.
At our festival on Friday night come watch the Strong Man events.
On Saturday our traditional Highland Games begin. Caber Toss, Shot Put, Weight for Height, Hammer Throw will be competed.
The Caber Toss is definitely a crowd favorite and luckily Payson is the home of the Utah Caber Championship.
Strong Man events Friday 5PM - 8PM
Scottish Heavy Athletics will take pllace from 9AM - 4PM on Saturday.
The dancers will compete in The Sword Dance as well as the Highland Fling, Scottish Lilt, Sean Triubhas, Flora McDonald's Fancy, Irish Jig (Scottish Version) and the Hornpipe.
The judges scrutinize foot placement, arm movements of the dancer, as well as the posture. Technique, timing, and deportment are the main observances taken into consideration in judging.
Highland Dancing starts at 9 AM and ends around 4PM.
Many of our vendors will be open on Friday at 6PM. All of our vendors will be open Saturday from 9AM - 5PM.
Some of our 2021 vendors included:
Payson Scottish Festival invites a variety of vendors to our festival. We prefer a Celtic flair to the items our vendors sell. We also allow non-profit organizations to promote their events.
REGISTRATION for 2022 is not available. Please check back for further information.
The Payson Scottish Festival includes a massed bands at the opening and closing ceremonies Saturday.
There are WUSPBA bagpipe solo and band competitions as well.
Opening Ceremonies and Parade will be held at 12NOON and include the Clan parade, Payson High School Band and Massed bands. Closing Ceremonies will take place at 5PM.
Solo and Band Competitions will take place throughout the festival.
We have a great “Highland Games: Featherweight Division” where traditional events are tailored for the kid's smaller size. Activities occur Saturday and consist of mini-athletic events, games, face painting, storytelling, sword dancing and painted silhouettes.
Children 12 and younger are invited to compete in the children’s Highland Games. Children athletes can try their hand at the weight toss, sheaf toss, caber toss and sword duels.
We also have a playground and sandbox area for the kids!
Kids Games will take place all day from 9AM - 4PM Saturday. No registration needed.
FLOWERS of the FOREST
We remember those in the Scottish Community who have passed. This is an honorable tradition going back to the Selkirk Ridings honouring the lost at Flodden. The song and tradition is now used at many commemerances and funerals all over the world. Enter the name of a recently deceased individual (or individuals) in the contact form at the bottom of this page. Please include the "Flower of the Forest Name" that you would like to see honored at the Flowers of the Forest ceremony at our Highland Games ceremony. You may write a short tribute in the box as well.
NOTE: This is a traditional Scottish rememberance. Fake names of people who do not exist or have not passed are not allowed. If it is discovered that you have submitted such a name you will not be allowed to participate in the Payson Scottish Festival. If you have any questions regarding this rule please contact us.
Flowers of the Forest will be read at the opening ceremonies.
returns as our featured music group for 2022.
We are really excited to have David, Rebecca, and Adam back with us.
Stay tuned for further entertainment updates.
Payson Scottish Festival is a 100% volunteer organization. If you are interested in participating as a volunteer please contact us using the form at the bottom of this page. Let us know what area you are most interested in volunteering with as well.
Click the button to see a list of our current board members who volunteer hundreds of hours to make this event possible.
The Payson Scottish Festival Board is currently on the field setting up the event. We may not be able to answer your email promptly.
Please use this form to contact us.
A SHORT HISTORY OF SCOTTISH GAMES
According to oral tradition, some version of the Celtic/Gaelic Highland Games predates Christianity. These gatherings were basically war games held with the intent to select the best warriors in each family tribe or clan.
The first Games in Scotland were organized in the 11th Century and specifically designated as a sporting event. During the reign of King Malcom III (1058-1093), the Brae O¹Mar, a fairly flat meadowland along the river Dee, was used for a royal contest to find the swiftest and strongest in the kingdom. The winners needed to be fast and have the necessary stamina to carry King Malcom¹s messages across the land.
Games were held throughout Scotland until the Battle of Culloden in 1746. After Bonnie Prince Charlie¹s defeat by the English, the Act of Proscription banned playing of the bagpipe, wearing of the kilt, gathering together of the people, and the carrying of arms under the penalty of deportation or death. That effectively squelched a good part of the Highland culture, and literally destroyed the old clan structure.
After the repeal of the Proscription in the latter part of the 18th Century, Highland Societies began forming, and in 1781 the first society Gathering was held at Falkirk. The success of this event led to the Gathering of the Clans and 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 United States the first Highland Games were organized by the Highland Society of New York in the mid 1800’s. The first games on the West Coast were held in San Francisco in 1865.
The first Highland Games in Payson Utah was in 1984.