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COLUMN OF THE WEEK

January-February 2018

SCOTTISH HIGHLAND GAMES IN VENTURA

By Roland Sturm

Seaside Scottish GamesSeveral Scottish Highland games gatherings are held across Southern California, and the 

Seaside Games

 in Ventura are the last one of the year. While Scottish games/gatherings are a commercial activity propped up by vendors, competitions in bagpiping, dancing, fiddle, and heavy athletics are more than just a side show. Together with many community groups, there is a lot of interesting music and exposure to other social activities. Of varying quality, for sure, but interesting. My view of the good, bad (or maybe ridiculous), and ugly:

The Good: Seeing and hearing a variety of social/cultural activities that are outside the mainstream

Bagpipe and drum groups dominate the aural and visual scene outside the exhibition halls (vendors). Highland games gatherings typically have a wide range of piping and drumming competitions, including solo piping and drumming, small group ensembles, and full pipe bands. 

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