The tartans are in full regal; the bagpipes in a skirl. The Shetland animals are lowing as the mist clears from the pitch and men in kilts are throwing hammers and tossing logs. It must be the annual Ligonier Highland Games. Borrowing from the famous Scotland namesake, this States Side contest is a celebration of all things Scottish. With fanciful music and dancing, the raw power of country sports, and a deep respect of the country and the history, the Highland Games are a one-stop destination for both fun and culture. Being that the Highland Games promote sport and contest there is precisely that, in all facets. Chief among them is the heavy athletics. Starting early in the morning and going late into the afternoon, men compete in spirited events such as the caber toss, the Scottish hammer throw, sheaf tossing, and the stone. There is even a place for children to compete, though not quite as intense as the strongmen. As much as there is a showing of heavy athletics, there is also a showing of animals. Chief among them is the dog show. Scottish breeds are highlighted in feats of agility, herding, and groomsmanship. There are Shetland Ponies aplenty and highland cattle too. Entertainment at the Highland Games is traditional pipes, harps and drums – lots of it. The music is nonstop gayety, with piping and drumming competitions, harp competitions in the morning and a harp circle in the afternoon, plus Gaelic Mod singing and Scottish country dancing aplenty. Visitors can shop for Celtic wares including pottery, jewelry, tartans, and kilts. While there feast on traditional Scottish foods and visit the Clan tents to explore the history and genealogy of Scotland’s families. Re-enactors have a live encampment show that exhibits Scottish military history, while through the day there are children’s games and classic storytelling, Admission cost is moderate and parking is free.