Pipes, Drums, Dancers and Cabers-Celtic Weekend
The Daly Mansion grounds were filled with everything Celtic last weekend at the annual Bitterroot Celtic Games and Gathering. The Bitterroot Celtic Society was expecting large crowds, just from the pre-ticket sales and they were not disappointed. It was one of the few sanctioned games during the ongoing pandemic and twice as many athletes wanted to toss the caber (photo below) or toss the sheaf. The Scottish American Athletic Association sanctioned games included Caber Toss, Hammer Throw, Sheaf Toss, Stone Throw, Weight for Distance and Weight Over Bar.
The local organizers brought in more musical groups than ever, with back-to-back concerts, featuring favorites Swagger, TopHouse and, of course, the Harp Twins (photo below). I especially liked their version of "Don't Fear the Reaper" (more cowbell!). New groups were welcomed, too, including House of Hamill and Hunter Koss.
No judging for the dancers this year, but the demonstrations were well-received by the huge crowd in the main tent. The Daly Mansion itself was open for self-guided tours of the home built by Irishman Marcus Daly, who also founded the town of Hamilton in the days of the Copper Kings. It was appropriate to hold the games on his lawn.
Then, there's the Grand Parade of Clans, Bands and Athletes, which was both Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. More pipers than ever brought in the numerous clans that had journeyed to the Bitterroot Valley. It was memorable, as always.
The Bitterroot Celtic Society is a 501c3 non-profit and admission fees only cover some of the tens of thousands of dollars needed to have this event. They rely on donations and also have fund-raising through the year (including sales of Gyros at the Ravalli County Fair next week). Oh, by the way, the next Bitterroot Celtic Games and Gathering will be August 20-21, 2022.