This might be as close as you get to the real thing!

Now in its 55th year this annual festival brings a piece of Scotland to Alma, Michigan. Event organizers claim thousands of visitors come from far and wide to experience the traditional Scottish celebration. Here's what you can expect this year:

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First, What Are The Highland Games?

I don't know much about my Scottish ancestry nor the Highland games, so I had to go straight to the source! Visit Scotland explains,

Some believe the roots of the Highland games date as far back as the 11th century. King Malcolm III needed a personal courier, so he called a foot race to the summit of Creag Chòinnich, near Braemar, in the hopes of finding the fastest runner....The games evolved into a test not only of strength and stamina, but also of creative dance and music skills to keep kings, queens and clan chiefs entertained.

The Alma Highland Festival & Games

Over the 2024 Memorial Day holiday weekend thousands of visitors will descend upon the sleepy college town of Alma, Michigan as it transforms into "Scotland, USA".

Adam Vibber, Vice President Executive Committee tells WWMT to expect,

Highland dancing, the Scottish athletics, the piping and drumming...from activities, to clans where you can trace back your roots, whiskey tasting, different scotches involved, a Caley at night for a celebration

You had me at whisky tasting. There will also be plenty of vendors, parade, family-friendly activities, and of course bagpipes!

The 55th Annual Alma Highland Festival runs Friday, May 24-26, 2024. Unless otherwise stated online all events will take place on the campus of Alma College. A weekend pass starts at $20 for adults, $18 for seniors/EMS/veterans, and children 10 and under are free. Click here for more info.

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