North Carolina has more citizens of Scottish ancestry than any other state or nation on Earth… including Scotland. Scottish Highlanders started migrating to North Carolina as early as 1729, and were later followed by lowlanders and Scots-Irish settlers as well. Today our landscape ( from the Cape Fear region and into the Blue Ridge Parkway) is dotted with constant reminders of these early Scottish settlers; from street names to church names and town names to surnames, there is no denying that Scotland’s people had a huge influence on North Carolina’s landscape and culture. Every year, North Carolina hosts one of the most well known highland games in the United States. The Highland Games at Grandfather Mountain provides the descendants of North Carolina’s Scottish settlers a chance to get in touch with their roots, and offers everyone else a chance to experience a dizzying display of all things Scottish.
The Highland Games at Grandfather Mountain happen every July, and continue to grow in attendance from year to year. If you missed out this year, be sure to be one of the thirty thousand attendants in 2008. Oh, and if you aren’t wearing a kilt, you’ll feel out of place. Seriously.
Music in this episode performed by Albannach, just one of the many great bands that performed in the Celtic Groves at the Highland Games.