About

The Colonial Highland Gathering is an Annual
Celebration of Scottish Culture

The Caber Toss. Bagpipes. Kilts.

Celebrate these Scottish Traditions and more during The Colonial Highland Gathering at Fair Hill Race Track.

Each year, competitors and spectators come together to enjoy daunting feats of strength, delightful Scottish music, dancing, food, and culture.

Join us for the games!

Saturday, May 20, 2017
Fair Hill Race Track, Fair Hill MD

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Purchase your tickets online

Advanced tickets available for box seats and general admission.

No glass bottles. No Pets.

A Day at The Fair Hill Scottish Games…

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The Competitions

From the iconic caber toss, to bag piping, dancing, and fiddling  – competitions showcase strength and talent. Register or learn more.

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The Culture

Find your Celtic clan or immerse yourself in Scottish culture with an array of different demonstrations and vendors.

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The Music

Live musical entertainment keeps the sounds of traditional and modern Scotland booming through the fair grounds.

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The Marketplace

Browse and purchase a selection of artisan food, tartans, and other scottish cultural items.

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The Food

Sample traditional Scottish fare and American goods. Food tents are set up around the fairgrounds.

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The Tea Room

Taste a variety of Scottish teas and view beautiful tea service sets in the Tea Room.

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Honorary Chieftain of the Games: William D. “Bill” Whistler

WILLIAM D. “BILL” WHISTLER

 Games Chieftain

         57 th Scottish Games of Delaware

          Bill is the last surviving member of the original founders of the The Scottish Games Association of Delaware which began in 1960.

Hs Scottish heritage is from his mother’s side of his family. In 1950 he met Fred Annand, a native Scot, when they served together with a Boy Scout troop. Over a period of years, they talked about learning to play the bagpipes. One night Fred announced to Bill that he had met a fellow Scot, one Maclean Macleod, who was willing to teach them. So for several years the three friends met Friday nights for practice, a snack and some scotch.

The first annual Scottish Games of Delaware occurred August 6, 1960, at Delaware Park. Bill was responsible for controlling entry into the Games. The Scottish Games Association struggled early on to form its leadership and formulate its purpose. The group renewed its goals and under the name Delaware Highland Games held the games on August 3, 1963 and which are still going strong today.

In 1966 the games moved to Fair Hill, Maryland and were called The Colonial Highland Gathering.

By the 1976 Games – due to high expenses and other issues – the funds on hand for the next year’s games totaled $50. Bill was appointed Treasurer again and sought to cut every cost possible. He informed the Pipe Majors that they may not be reimbursed fully but they would receive prorated checks within a week. Bill was able to pay the bands in full and was responsible for the Colonial Highland Gathering receiving a reputation for fair dealing and the practice of paying after the games became standard on the games circuit.

Bill also considered the future of the games – served totally by volunteers – with no paid staff – he wrote standards for volunteer responsibilities – in a way that allowed each volunteer to have time to enjoy the games themselves.

In 1987 Bill was a founding director and first treasurer of the United States Piping Foundation. In 1988 Bill became Executive Director – responsible for the overall operation of the Games.

In December 1991, health issues forced him to retire from the Games and the Piping Foundation. He was declared Executive Director of Games Emeritus and continued his close association with Mac Macleod – both as a dear friend and a continuing resource for the next two decades until Mac’s death in 2013.

Bill is still our friend, historical resource, and mentor and we dedicate these games to him – with many thanks for all that he has done to support the Scottish Games Association of Delaware.

We are proud to announce that the Games Chieftain for the 57th Scottish Games of Delaware is William D. Whistler.

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Special Thanks To…

George Widger and Wild Shotz Photography for the beautiful photographs on the site.