Capital District Scottish Games return to the Altamont Fairgrounds

Albany County

ALTAMONT, N.Y. (NEWS10) — Crowds of people returning to the Altamont Fairgrounds for the return of the annual Capital District Scottish Games, showcasing various aspects of Celtic culture, after last year’s event was canceled because of the pandemic.

“Oh man, it was devastating last year when we couldn’t do it, we love doing this event,” said Bill Munro, spokesperson for the Scottish Games.

The annual event showcasing numerous parts of Scottish culture. Everything from music to dog breeds.

“There are a lot of breeds that nobody knows about. People who breed them have a hard time getting them out there to the world. There are a lot of designer breeds now and it’s just really neat to have something like this to bring awareness,” Fran Smith, the co-chair of the exhibit, “Meet the Scottish Dog Breeds” explained.

Dozens of Scottish and Irish clans were also present to showcase parts of their family histories.

And of course, guests were treated to a wide variety of traditional highland games. Including caber toss, hammer throw, stone put, sheaf toss and weight for height and distance.

“I think everybody likes to see people dressed up in kilts, see the bagpipes, see strong people throwing heavy objects,” Carrie Russell, who directs the highland athletics, said.

The festival first began in 1939 in the Schenectady-area, before shutting down in the 1960’s.

“As a kid, I always came here. My family loved them, my grandfather played the bagpipes and we were always here,” Munro explained.

After ending in 1967, the Schenectady Pipe Band resurrected the event in the 1970’s. Since then, it’s continued to be a large part of Bill Munro’s family, as the annual event has become a Labor Day weekend tradition in the Capital Region.

“We want to expose the general public to Scotland and its culture, and that’s what we do. There’s a lot of interest in it, you don’t have to be Scottish, of course, to have interest in it,” Munro said.

Organizers say there was a record amount of advanced ticket sales for this year’s Scottish Games.

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