Bagpipes rang through Turlock this weekend, as members of the community celebrated their Celtic heritage. Steel balls flew through the air, attendees were greeted by Celtic tunes, and the Turlock fairgrounds was covered with a large amount of plaid. Food, music, dancing, and games were present at the festival as attendees were urged to come celebrate the culture.
“I believe this festival brings a Celtic heritage of the Galec,” says Edwin Carroll, a member of Clan Cian, “a lot of people forget their roots. Whether they’re Irish, Scottish, Welsh, or English, we tend to forget our heritage. The games show us where we came from and where we’re going.”
What makes this festival distinct from the rest is its inclusion of the highland games. A Celtic tradition that pits athletes against each other in various events, such as the hammer throw, shot put, and weight for height. The games form a bond between the athletes. There is determination to win the competition, but it does not blur the pride that is shared, among athletes, for their culture.
Troy, a local athlete, says, “We support each other. I mean that is the best part of the Highland games, all athletes supporting each other.”
This festival emphasizes the support that many cultures have to offer. Casting a wide net and bringing a community together to embrace a shared heritage. Friendships are formed, families are united, and people are introduced to a culture they may have previously known nothing about.
“I enjoy the communion of people,” says Cuff Burrell, member of Clan MacDougall, “we’re all here together. I’ve known all these clans for years, it’s all a good time.”