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January 5
Piping at the Mansion
The McHenry Mansion
906 15th St.

February 22
Robert Burns Supper
The Fruit Yard
7948 Yosemite Blvd.

April 6
Tartan Day
McClatchy Square
15th St & I St.

April 12
International Day of the Child
Denair Elementary Charter Academy
3773 Madera Ave.

May 5
Kirkin O' the Tartan
St. Paul's Episcopal Church
1528 Oakdale Rd.

June 1
Campbell Scholarship Mini-Golf Tournament
4307 Coffee Rd.

June 22
All Celtic Picnic

July 27
Breakfast Fundraiser
3848 McHenry Ave.

Modesto International Festival
Modesto Junior College, East Campus
435 College Ave.

October 19
Central Valley Highland Games & Celtic Festival
Stanislaus County Fairfounds
900 N Broadway.

October 27
Kirkin O' the Tartan
Trinity United Presbyterian Church
1600 Carver Rd.

Saint Andrew's Day Event


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Heavy Athletics

In the 11th century, King Malcolm III of Scotland summoned contestants to a foot race to the summit of Craig Choinnich. King Malcolm created this foot race in order to find the fastest runner in the land to be his royal messenger. Some have seen this event as the origin of today's modern Highland games.

During times of English occupation, the men of Scotland were forbidden to bear or train with arms. Scots continued to train for war; they simply did so with the implements of war replaced with the implements of the Highland games.

Photo by John Nelson

Caber Toss

The athlete balances a long tapered log vertically, holding the smaller end in their hands. They then run forward, attempting to toss it end over end, with the larger bend hitting the ground first. A perfect toss is achieved when the smaller end lands at a 12 o'clock position, relative to the direction of the run. If successful, the athlete is said to have turned the caber.

Photo by John Nelson

Putting the Stone

This event is similar to the modern-day shot put. A large stone (16–22 lb stone for men or 8–12 lb for women) is thrown with one hand. The stone rests cradled in the neck until the moment of release.

Photo by John Nelson

Scottish Hammer Throw

A round metal ball (weighing 16 or 22 lb for men or 12 or 16 lb for women) is attached to a 4 foot long handle. The hammer is spun around the athlete's head and thrown for distance.

Photo by John Nelson

Weight for Distance

There are two classes of this event; the light event (28 lb for men and 14 lb for women) and the heavy event (56 lb for men, 42 lb for masters men, and 28 lb for women). The metal weights have a handle attached either directly or by means of a chain. Only one hand is used. The longest throw wins.

Photo by John Nelson

Weight for Height

An attempt is made to toss a 56 pound weight over a high bar using only one hand. Each athlete is allowed three attempts at each height. Successful clearance of the height allows the athlete to advance into the next round at a greater height. The competition is determined by the highest successful toss with fewest misses being used to break tie scores.

Photo by John Nelson


Shinty is older than the recorded history of Scotland. The game was traditionally played through the winter months, with New Year's Day being the day when whole villages would gather together to play games featuring teams of up to several hundred a side, players often using any piece of wood with a hook as a caman. The ball was traditionally a round piece of wood or bone, sometimes called a cnapag, but soon developed into the worsted leather balls used today.

For information on how to participate in the Heavy Athletics
please contact Shannon Hamlyn Burton at: