There aren’t many festivals where you can watch an athlete toss a tree end over end, don a kilt for a Highland dance, do a whiskey tasting, and watch herding and hunting dogs compete. But you can do all that and more at the Virginia Scottish Games.
Now in its 48th year, the Games are held in The Plains. But the festival has its roots in Alexandria, which was founded by Scots, and now draws about 10,000 people each year from across many cultures, says Alexandra Duncan, the vice president for the event.
In the athletic competitions, competitors arrive from as far away as Tennessee and all up and down the East Coast. Those events take place all day on Sept. 3 and 4, along with bagpiping and drumming competitions. The Highland dance competitions are on Saturday, and the clans and societies will be there all weekend.
Tickets are $20 per day or $30 for the weekend. Tickets for kids ages 5 to 12 are $5 on Saturday and they’re free on Sunday.
“It’s an incredible festival,” Duncan says. “How often do you get to see a Highland cow next to all of these antique vehicles that we’ll have there on Sunday?” Virginia Scottish Games: Sept. 3–4, 5089 Old Tavern Rd., The Plains
This story originally ran in our August issue. For more stories like this, subscribe to our monthly magazine.