On Saturday, July 18th, 2015 I attended the 63rd annual Portland Highland Games
held on the Mt. Hood Community College
campus in the eastern Portland suburb of Gresham.
When the gates opened at 8:00, I was there, camera in hand, ready to capture the Celtic sights.
And what unusual sights (and sounds) were awaiting me! The caterwauling
of dozens of bagpipers
warming up on their instruments led me to the large grassy area in the center of the running track. The early-morning sunlight made getting a good shot a bit challenging, but as I wandered around the field I took quite a few keepers.
Bagpipers were not the only attraction. In addition to drummers, there was also a number of food stands serving delicious-looking goodies. It made me sad that I had already eaten breakfast before I arrived. Later in the day there would be plenty of beer, ale and whiskey available for tasting, but alas, I would miss out on that as well. Apparently I would have to feed only on photography!
After I had my fill of bagpipes, I headed over to the nearby Upper Field where the Heavy Athletics Events
were being held. The key word here is heavy!
In one corner of the field, kilted contestants were seeing who could fling a 28-pound weight the farthest. In another section, athletes were attempting to heave a 56-pound weight over a horizontal bar high above their heads.
But the most impressive and grueling event was the Celtic musclemen who were tossing the 96-pound “Portland Stone” as far as they could. I spent most of my time at this contest, getting some great action shots. It was only around 9:15, but it was already quite toasty, with hardly any shade to shelter in.
Because of the heat and other Portland events, by 10:00 I was ready to hit the road. Unfortunately, I was going to miss many events, like the Caber Toss,
the Kilted Mile Race,
the Border Collie
Sheepherding Demonstration, Highland Dance Competitions, Pipe Band Competitions, Celtic Music Performances, a Tug of War, a Dance Social,
and more — it was quite a full schedule of events!
During my short two-hour stay I took about 360 photos! The best 69 are on display in this album. An additional 45 images are incorporated into nine photo sequences,
which show some of the athletes in action.