The 28th Annual Skagit Valley Highland Games and Celtic Festival is set to take place on July 13th and 14th at the Skagit County Fairgrounds in Mount Vernon, Washington. In addition to holding the games at a new venue, principal organizer and Director of the Celtic Arts Foundation, Cayley Schmid, has expanded competitive Piping and Drumming at this year’s event. A full slate of Solo Piping and Drumming, Quartet, Drum Fanfare, and Pipe Band Competitions will be offered on both days of the Highland Games. In addition, there will be two new special solo piping events.

On Saturday July 13th, sponsored and endorsed by the Gordon Duncan Memorial Trust, the Skagit Valley Highland Games will hold the inaugural Gordon Duncan Memorial Kitchen Piping Competition. This event was created to honor the legacy and music of Gordon Duncan and will be open to grade 2, grade 1, and open level solo pipers. The format of the event is a 5-minute long anything-goes freestyle event. The only formal requirement is that each competitor must include at least one Gordon Duncan tune in their selection. Gary West has been confirmed as one of the judges of the event, with others to be announced. Prizes – 1st: $500, 2nd: $350, 3rd: $200, 4th: $100, 5th: $50.

On Sunday July 14th   the Skagit Valley Highland Games will hold the inaugural Skye Memorial Jig Competition. This event is in memory of Skye Richendrfer the Founder and Director of the Celtic Arts Foundation who passed away in November of 2022. Skye was a great piper, visionary, and community organizer who made his life’s work the continued promotion of world-class piping in the Pacific Northwest. Competitors are to play one Jig once through and the jig must be a minimum of four parts long. Once the competitor has finished their tune, they must play themselves off the stage with a tune of their choosing. The Skye Memorial Jig Competition will be open to highland pipers of any grade level. (prize money) Prizes – 1st: $500, 2nd: $350, 3rd: $200, 4th: $100, 5th: $50.

Another new featured event this year is the ‘Village Games’! These contests of strength and skill are the origin of what we now know as the Highland Games.  Events include ‘Toss the Welly’ (wellies, the weapon of choice of the true Highland gentleman), ‘Tattie on Spoon’ (not as innocent as it seems), and more. The ‘Village Games’ includes Special Pipeband categories and prizes.

Entries for all events are now open:

One thought on “Skagit Valley Highland Games & Celtic Festival

  1. the entry form for gr 2 did not have a space to enter the required named tunes:
    MSR: 2/4 The Australian Ladies; 2/4 John MacColl’s March to Kilbowie Cottage; Strathspey Captain Colin Campbell; Reel Kalabakan
    Piob: Skye of Mount Vernon, Washington; Lament for the Rowan Tree

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