Radford Highlanders Festival set for October 6
Follow the skirl of bagpipes on Saturday, Oct. 6 and join thousands of people to experience excitement, fun, games and food at the 22nd Radford Highlanders Festival.
Live music is also featured at the festival, including the headliner band Tuatha Dea, a Celtic folk-rock band from Tennessee. Tuatha Dea creates original music that encompasses Appalachian, Celtic, tribal and rock themes. Heavyweight games, sheepherding, Scottish clans, entertainers, children’s games and pipe and drum bands round out the entertainment at the Highlanders Festival.
In the serious – yet quirky – Braveheart 5K, wearing kilts is welcomed and encouraged. Runners will enjoy gorgeous waterfront views of the New River on the footpaths of Bisset Park. A free one-mile fun run will challenge the youngsters to become mini-Highlanders and immediately follows the 5K.
Bisset Park will undergo a major transformational process as artists, vendors, craftspeople and community organizations turn the park into an open-air forum. Start holiday shopping early or treat yourself to something nice from one of the many vendors with a diverse and interesting set of clothing, accessories, jewelry and crafts.
The Radford Highlanders Festival is also a day-long feast, with assorted foods offered by vendors. Enjoy authentic Scottish fare, classic festival food or American classics, such as pizza and burgers, at the festival. Savor the delicious food all while marveling at the power of the Scottish athletes participating in the heavyweight games.
Chad Clark, a veteran competitor in strongman and powerlifting competitions, appears at the helm of the Tom Raisbeck Memorial Games for the third consecutive year. Each division competes to decide a champion and an overall athlete of the day is selected.
The Raisbeck Games at the Radford Highlanders Festival features events and competitions traditionally associated with rural and military life in the Scottish Highlands, including: weights for distance and height; the stones, similar to modern-day shotput; Scottish hammers; the sheaf toss; and the crowd-pleasing caber toss.
Make a stop in the beautiful foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains on Oct. 6 to enjoy diverse vendors and culture. Just 10 minutes from Exit 109 off Interstate 81, the Radford Highlanders Festival has something for everyone, all while celebrating the region’s Scots-Irish ancestry.
In 1996, Radford University’s Highlander mascot was unveiled at the first Highlanders Festival. The Highlander became the nickname for athletic teams in 1979 and school colors changed from gray and purple to “Tartan Plaid” in 1978.
The Radford Highlanders Festival is a partnership between Radford University and the City of Radford. To learn more, go to www.radford.edu/festival or search “Radford Highlanders Festival” on Facebook. Registration for the Braveheart 5K can be found on www.ItsYourRace.com.
On Friday, Oct. 5, Tuatha Dea will play a set at BT’s, located near the campus of Radford University.