The 156th Scottish Highland Gathering and Games returns to the Alameda County Fairgrounds in the scorching weekend heat


PLEASANTON, Calif. (KGO) — If you listen closely, you might be able to hear a familiar sound returning to the Alameda County Fairgrounds this weekend.

For the 156th time, the Caledonian Club of San Francisco will host its annual Scottish Highland Gathering and Games.

On Friday night, they held a fundraiser to kick off the weekend.

“All sorts of Scottish things. We’ll obviously have pipers and pipers. We’ve got heavyweight athletics,” Rob Tysinger said.

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Tysinger is the club president.

He says the event is one of the largest of its kind in the United States and is a way for Scots to share their culture with the rest of the Bay Area.

“We never gave up our pride in our country, our lifestyles and our clothes,” Tysinger said.

But with temperatures set to soar this weekend, the heat will also be a concern.

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Many of the games events – like the “kilted mile” – are outdoors and physically demanding.

“We will have cooling tents. We have foggers throughout the fairgrounds. We also have five buildings that are all air-conditioned,” Tysinger said.

Hot weather is a consideration not only for those in attendance, but also for many of the attendees.

Piper Christopher Boyle explains that extreme heat can have an effect on the performance of his instrument.

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“The cane doesn’t vibrate as well when it dries, so moisture management is going to be critical, and our employees will be adding ice chips to their bags to keep the moisture in,” Boyles said.

But despite the sunshine, Boyles says this year’s event is sure to be a good time.

Filled with food, entertainment and many unique Scottish features.

“At the end of the day, we’re here to enjoy the weather, the music, the athletics, the sheep herding,” he said.

For more information on the event, go here.


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