The 58th anniversary of the Phoenix Scottish Games

Scotland returns to the Desert Southwest during the weekend of March 3rd thru 5th, 2023 with the 58th annual Phoenix Scottish Games to be held at new Gilbert Regional Park in Gilbert, Arizona.  You don’t need to be Scottish to enjoy the games featuring full highland pageantry with Pipes & Drums, Highland dancers, athletics, Celtic bands, and Gathering of the Clans.  As you move from area to area within the festival, you’ll be treated to a variety of live entertainment, interactive displays, and athletic events. The event hosts championships for Highland dance and pipe bands. In addition to those competitions, you won’t want to miss numerous performers of traditional folk, bluegrass and Rock music their sound rooted in Scotland. Watch in awe as highland athletes make it look easy to throw a log bigger than a telephone pole or toss a hammer farther than you can throw a ball! Events include the Caber Toss, Sheaf Toss, Hammer Throw and “Putting the Stone” with male and female competitors of all ages from across North America.

Scotland underneath the Arizona desert sky

Direct from Scotland, the Isle of Skye Pipe Band.

Returning this year will be the twilight tattoo Friday March 3rd. Those in attendance can enjoy an amphitheater concert showcasing the sights and sounds of Scotland underneath the Arizona desert sky. Performers will include Celtic music, a military band, Scottish dancers, traditional pageantry and of course pipes and drums.

Acts include: Marine SandPiper- Hailing from the greater metropolitan area of Twentynine Palms, CA, MarineSandpiper is the Southern California High Desert’s only Rock & Roll bagpiper.  With over 21 years of bagpipe experience, MarineSandpiper can cover everything from traditional bagpipe music to classic rock and pop music.

Craic in the Stone – They’ve taken the Celtic Folk’n Rock world by storm by bringing traditional songs to the present while pushing the envelope with their traditional yet unique sound and style when covering songs by the Cranberries, Pogues, Dropkick Murphys, U2, Beatles, and even Led Zep. Their unique sound features two talented ladies up front singing the stories, backed by a group of multi-talented musicians that rock the house.

This year’s event is featuring the Isle of Skye Pipe Band, for the first time in Arizona a visiting pipe band from Scotland. Audience members will be treated to a display of Scottish arts spanning the globe with performers from Canada, Scotland, and the United States. The acts above will be joined by The Alma College Kiltie Dancers, Arizona Academy of Highland Dance, The Jason Cartmell Rockstrosity, The Mesa Caledonian Pipe Band, champion flourishing drum majors, color guards, military bands, rifle teams, and more.

Enjoy the sights and sounds of Scotland with this outdoor concert under the stars! The military tattoo tradition evolved from 17th century Europe when a drummer or bugler would sound a call through the village, signalling the soldiers’ return to barracks. Today, military tattoo’s celebrate with marching, music, dancing, and more.

Scottish heritage

Scottish dancers on display.

If you are curious about your heritage, join us in the Clan and Genealogy area. Arizona has over 175,000 Scots. You could be one of them! Everywhere you look you can see deep ties between Arizona and Scotland. Douglas, Arizona was named for a Canadian-Scotsman, and the Rose Tree Museum in Tombstone Arizona features a rose tree grown from a cutting shipped to a young Scottish bride from her family in Scotland in 1885.  Even if you don’t have any ties to Scotland, you will enjoy yourself at 58th annual Phoenix Scottish Games.  All ages will have fun in the Celtic Village, featuring a variety of Celtic merchants with clothing, music instruments, jewelry, baked goods and other traditional culinary delights that you won’t find at any other festival – traditional shortbread cookies, highland beef dishes and more. There will be Scotch Whisky Tasting where you can enjoy a dram and hear about the whisky making process of each expression. Car lovers don’t forget to vote for your favorite vintage vehicle at the British Car Display and show.

Heavy events.

As long as you relish good music, food, and fun, you’ll have a great time!  The Phoenix Scottish Games are produced by the Caledonian Society of Arizona, the largest Celtic organization in the state, promoting Scottish culture through art, education and athletics. Funds raised at the event supports scholarships to aspiring and professional Highland athletes, musicians, and dancers and/or other individuals or organizations whose mission, project or program promotes Scottish heritage.

The Phoenix Scottish Games take place on Friday March 3, 2023, from 5pm to 900pm, Saturday March 4, 2023, from 9am to 630pm and Sunday March 5, 2023, from 9 am to 5pm. Single day tickets can be purchased at the gate for $25 or $40 for weekend ticket. Purchase in advance at Discounted pricing is available for members of the military and children. See the website for detailed pricing information.  Free parking is available at the park, check the website for parking details.

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