Ever want to see sheep herded by border collies? Long to hear a bagpipe band, or taste a tasty tidbit of haggis? Catch all of that and watch men in kilts heave 50-pound rocks today (Saturday) at the Celtic-Highland Games in Davenport. Organizer and co-founder Ruth Clayton-Davis says the focus is on Irish and Scottish culture. Clayton-Davis says there are athletics, bagpiping and drumming competitions, Highland dance contests, family activities and something new — the Illinois Raptor Center will give a talk on falconry in Scotland. She says people who come to the event won’t just see Celtic culture on display, they can learn it first-hand. Workshops include instruction in Celtic guitar, how to speak Welsh or Irish Gaelic, basic tin whistle and Celtic harp and dance. Clayton-Davis says the so-called games of strength are always crowd-pleasers, as competitors throw massive hammers and hurl heavy rocks. Contests include various stone-throwing competitions, with rocks weighing between 16 and 56 pounds. There’s also the caber toss, involving the chucking of a long wooden pole. She says “Everybody’s favorite is the caber toss. Nothing like watching somebody in a skirt throw a telephone pole.” The events run all day at the Mississippi Valley Fairgrounds in Davenport. For more information, surf to “www.celtichighlandgames.org” or call (309) 794-0449.
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