Kern County Scottish Society

Scottish Games & Ceilidh

Kern County Scottish Society presents....  20th Annual Scottish Games & Gathering.

Saturday, April 18th, 2015.....................Games 9am-5pm............Ceilidh 6pm-10pm

Kern County Fairgrounds, 1142 South  P St, Bakersfield CA   Directions / Map

Mark your calendar for 2015 & stay tuned! Event schedules and more info is being updated weekly

Come on out and Get Yer Plaid On!  This event gets bigger and better every year! This is a day of great fun, a day of tradition. A day that had something for everyone, Scottish or not. If you've never experienced the Games, come and see what brings people back year after year. It's a fun packed day that is filled with things to do: Scottish heavy athletics, genealogy, clans and family history, live music on multiple stages, sheepdog herding demos, dance shows, a large area just for children, a petting zoo and a multitude of really great food and merchandise vendors.

Stop by the Society Booth on your way in!
  • Purchase raffle tickets (raffles will be held throughout the day and you don't have to be present to win) and programs
  • Purchase shot glasses, pint glasses, t-shirts, Irn Bru, stickers, and clan tartans
  • Sign up to become a member or renew your membership to the Kern County Scottish Society
  • Sign-up for the Haggis Toss and the Bonny Knee Competition
  • Include your family member in the Memoriam
Opening ceremonies start at noon. March of the Clans, the Marching Pipe and Drum Competitors, The Queen and Her Court, and a very special Honorary Chieftain of the Day, to be announced soon!

Don't forget to try a Banger at the Kern County Scottish Society Banger Booth and try a little scotch tasting in Building 3.  If you've never tried scotch, this is your chance to hone your taste for this nectar of the Gods.

Visit the Tea Room inside Building 2 to enjoy a tea and scone while listening to acoustic music. The Kern County Genealogical Society is also inside Building 2.

Building 2 will have our vendors selling a great variety of things: kilts, swords, soaps, jewelry, tams, toys, sgian dubhs, coats of arms,  pottery, music, and any thing you can think of that is related to the Seven Celtic Nations.

Sorry to say, no picnic baskets, outside coolers, outside food or drinks are allowed to be brought in to the festival grounds.
Non-threatening dogs on leashes are allowed when accompanied by doggie bags.

Adult Games General Admission discount available.  This year the Kern County Scottish Society has partnered with the Golden Empire Gleaners and will be offering a $1 discount off any Adult General Admission ticket at the door for a donation of 1 can of nonperishable food (16 ounces or greater, no expired, outdated, or damaged cans, please).  All the food collected is used to replenish local food banks and feed the less fortunate members of Kern County.  Discounts are not applied to combo, Ceilidh, children's, or senior/military/student tickets.
Tickets purchased through our PayPal link will be picked up at the entrance to the event.
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This year we will be hosting the 1st Kilted Beer 5K Run/Walk with the help of the Bakersfield Track Club
and Registration Starts at 1:00 pm
Run/Walk begins at 2:00 pm
A FREE Beer will be provided at the finish line for those that participate
Early bird registration fee is $45 ($50 after March 28th)- which include admission to the Games & a free limited edition Kilted Beer 5K Run/Walk t-shirt
The run is open to all ages - for those who are not old enough or do not want to have a beer - a root beer will be substituted.
All minors participating in the run/walk must be accompanied by an adult who is also registered for the event.

Register Now!

 Games General Adult Admission                                                                                   $17
 Combo (both Games & Ceilidh)                                                                                      $28
 Ceilidh (Celtic Music Party - requires separate ticket or combo purchase)                     $15
   Children ages 5 - 11                                                                                                         $2  *Purchase At the Gate Only*
   Children ages 4 and younger                                                                                                   FREE!
   Games: Seniors 60+, Military, Students                                                                         $13 *Purchase At the Gate Only*
   Kern County Fairgrounds Parking Charge                                                                        $3
Advance admission tickets will be available for purchase at World Records.
2815 F St. Bakersfield CA 661-831-3100.
  Tickets are also available at the gate on the day of the event

Highland Games / Heavy Athletics: 
    Scottish Heavy Athletics is hosting the 201 Games.  Scottish Heavy Events are a traditional part of Scottish Highland Games and Gatherings.  This year's events will be the Hammer Throw, the Stone Throw, Weight for Distance, Weight for Height, and the Caber Toss.
   Stone Throw - This event is similar to the modern-day shot put as seen in the Olympic games. Instead of a steel shot, a large stone of variable weight is often used. There are also some differences from the Olympic shot put in allowable techniques. There are two versions of the stone toss events, differing in allowable technique. The “Braemar Stone” uses a 20–26 lb stone for men (13–18 lb. for women) and does not allow any run up to the toeboard or “trig” to deliver the stone, i.e., it is a standing put. In the “Open Stone” using a 16–22 lb. stone for men (or 8–12 lb. for women), the thrower is allowed to use any throwing style so long as the stone is put with one hand with the stone resting cradled in the neck until the moment of release. Most athletes in the open stone event use either the “glide” or the “spin” techniques.
   Weight For Distance - Also known as the weight throw event. There are actually two separate events, one using a light (28 lb. for men and 14 lb. for women) and the other a heavy (56 lb for men, 42 lb. for masters men, and 28 lb for women) weight. The weights are made of metal and have a handle attached by means of a chain. The implement is thrown with one hand using any technique. Usually a spinning technique is employed. The longest throw wins.
   Caber Toss - The Caber is a tree that has been cut and trimmed down so one end is slightly wider than the other. It can vary length from 16 to 22 feet and between 100 and 180 pounds. The smaller end is rounded off so it will be easy to cup in the thrower’s hands. The caber is stood up for the thrower with the large end up. The thrower hoists the caber up and cups the small end in his hands. He then takes a short run with the caber and then stops and pulls the caber so that the large end hits the ground and the small end flips over and faces away from the thrower. The caber is scored for accuracy as though the thrower is facing the 12:00 position on a clock face. A judge behind the thrower calls how close to the 12:00 position the small end of the caber lands, 12:00 being a perfect toss. If the caber is not turned, a side judge calls the degrees of the angle the caber makes with the ground.
   Hammer Throw - This event is similar to the hammer throw as seen in modern-day track and field competitions, though with some differences. In the Scottish event, a round metal ball (weighing 16 or 22 lb. for men or 12 or 16 lb. for women) is attached to the end of a shaft about 4 feet in length and made out of wood, bamboo, rattan, or plastic. With the feet in a fixed position, the hammer is whirled about one’s head and thrown for distance over the shoulder. Hammer throwers sometimes employ specially designed footwear with flat blades to dig into the turf to maintain their balance and resist the centrifugal forces of the implement as it is whirled about the head. This substantially increases the distance attainable in the throw.
  Haggis Toss!  Men's and Women's Competitions!
Enter to exhibit your form in the Haggis Hurl!
Open to all ages.

2015 Live Music performances!  More to be announced soon!

 Young Dubliners  The Young Dubliners are quite possibly Celtic rock's hardest working band, playing hundreds of shows to thousands of fans across the US and Europe every year. In recent years they have twice appeared on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live!, had songs featured in TV shows (Sons Of Anarchy, Human Target) and toured extensively as a headliner and as the opener for such a diverse list of artists as The Flaming Lips, Collective Soul, Jethro Tull, Johnny Lang and many more.

Although the Young Dubliners sound is most commonly called 'Celtic Rock', that label, as labels often can be, is misleading. The Irish influence is there, certainly, but it's not the only influence that rears its head on their albums, or in live shows. After all, several of the band members have no Irish roots of any kind. "That was always the idea", Keith Roberts, lead singer for the band explains. "The sound was always intended to be a hybrid because we all come from different backgrounds. Even though two of us are from Ireland, a lot of the music we listened to growing up wasn't Irish at all, but when we got here, we got homesick and developed a new appreciation for Irish Music. In truth the Celtic riffs can just as easily come from the American band members. Everyone writes now so you never know what you'll end up with when you start on a new album.

   Banshee in the Kitchen Kern County based Banshee in the Kitchen plays Celtic music with eclectic skill and merry abandon. Touring and recording since 2002, the trio has delighted audiences in festivals, theaters, living rooms, and countless other venues from New York to Japan. They take traditional Celtic tunes, find the sweet spot between old and new, stirring it all up with trademark playfulness and musicality they term “banshee-fying.” On stage, National Champion hammered dulcimer player Brenda Hunter (fiddle, hammered dulcimer) and Jill Egland (flute, accordion, whistle) trade off inspired flights of lead and counter melody over dynamic backing by Kat Edmonson (six- and twelve-string guitar, bouzouki).  No strangers to the microphone, the three trade off lead and backing vocals on a choice selection of songs, as well as jocular commentary in between.  Joining the trio is veteran bassist Kris Martin, and Victorio Xavier on percussion (the honorary "Man-shee").

Bad Haggis featuring Eric Rigler  - Familiar with Outlander, Braveheart, Titanic, Men in Black 3, The Fugitive, Cinderella Man, Troy, Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me, The Simpson's, and South Park?  How about CD's by Josh Groban, Faith Hill, Keith Urban, Meatloaf, Phil Collins, and Rod Stewart?  Then you're familiar with the sounds of Eric Rigler.  Described as "The World's Most Recorded Piper of All Time" Eric is constantly in demand in studios from Hollywood to Nashville to Abbey Road bringing the timeless, haunting sonorities of the Ullieann Pipes, the Great Highland Bagpipe, and the low whistle to film, television, and recording audiences from around the world. 
Bad Haggis fuses cutting-edge Celtic with influences of rock, alternative, jazz, pop, world beat ,Latin and African influences.  Driven by the dual leads of the "bagtar" (bagpipe and guitar) by Eric and guitarist Mike Hoffman, to the deeply grooving rhythms laid-down by the bassist/vocalist Mick Linden and drummer Ryan Krieger.  Bad Haggis delivers a hearing-is-believing sonic experience.  Amazing musicians - totally original - bagpipes and guitars!  Not to be missed!   


Paddy Murphy featuring John Michael.  Backed by a talented trio of mandolin , guitars, and drums, Paddy Murphy has performed in Monterey, Santa Cruz, and the Bay Area.  Born in Dun Laoghaire, Ireland, John is an eclectic and proficient vocalist who has been vocalizing since the age of four.  For the past 20 years John has performed with bands who have opened up for such touring acts as:  Chris Isaac, Third Eye Blind, The Fixx, Berlin, Huey Lewis, Greg Kihn, The Pointer Sisters, The Tubes, and Alan Holdsworth. 




Wrenwood Sessions
was formed in 2010 and performs a diverse repertoire of traditional and reinterpreted classic tunes in a folk-celtic style. The six members —Anne Grogan (vocals, fiddle), David Barringer (keys, accordion, vocals), Jeff Cram (whistles, bohdran), Valerie Lewis (harp), Steve Lewis (guitars, octave mandolin) and Jeremy Swanson (fiddle, mandola)—come from a variety of musical and performance backgrounds. What they have in common is their friendship and a love for Irish, Scottish, and Welsh folk music—the traditional Celtic music of the Isles. Based in Bakersfield, California the ensemble performs at festivals, gatherings, private functions, weddings, churches, and restaurants.

  Scottish Fiddlers of Los Angeles  For the past 30 years, the Scottish Fiddlers of Los Angeles have delighted audiences throughout Southern California with the lively, energetic and irresistibly uplifting music of Scotland, the Shetland Islands, Cape Breton Island and Ireland. Their playing is characterized by hard-driving reels and strathspeys, hauntingly beautiful airs and sweet waltzes. Directed by internationally known Scottish fiddler Jan Tappan, and frequently joined by world-renowned guest artists
Events in the Gazebo        Downtown Dance Arts Irish Tappers
      Clan Mac Leod Dancers
      Pipe Band Perfomances
      Memorium & Kirkin' O' the Tartans    

Live Pipe Bands / Piping and Drumming Competitions                                                   Entry Info - click here

  Tehachapi Mountain Pipes & Drums began as a dream of one man, Jack Pierce, over eight years ago. He started with bagpipe lessons at a local music store and one student. Since then the band has grown to include 16 pipers and 7 drummers! Band members range in age from 65 to 10 years old! The band meets once a week for a three-hour practice session. The idea behind this band is to "get out there and have fun!" And, that, they do! They entertain audiences in the High Desert and Kern County areas. The band always welcomes new students and musicians of all skills and levels.
   Kevin R. Blandford Memorial Pipe Band was founded in 1986 by founding pipe major Kevin Ray Blandford. The band was named after its sponsor, a British import store in Redlands, California. The store was the Blandford family’s business and opened in 1983. Kevin taught bagpipe lessons at the store and averaged 20 students per month. In 1991, Kevin started instructing the Upland High School Pipe Band.
In 1994, the R.P. Blandford & Son Pipe Band officially became a member of the Western United States Pipe Band Association and entered its first competition at the Highland Games in Costa Mesa, California. 

After Kevin’s passing in November 2003, the band changed its name to the Kevin R. Blandford Memorial Pipe Band. Kevin’s dear friend and successor, Matt Nonnemacher led the band to many more prestigious titles, including a 3rd and 5th place finish at the World Championships in 2004 and 2007, respectively. The band is currently under the direction of Pipe Major Martha Hall and Drum Sergeant Marie Pitre. 


 Long Beach Fire Department Pipes Band The Long Beach Fire Department Pipe Band is a competition-oriented band, and is comprised of serving fire personnel and civilian members. The band competes in Grade 4, as a member of the Western United States Pipe Band Association. 

The majority of the players are civilians and come from different walks of life. It is however instilled into our members that at all times we are ambassadors and representatives of the Long Beach Fire Department.

  The Fresno Stag and Thistle Pipes and Drums was formed as a main offshoot of the founding of the Piping Society of Central California in 1990 as a non-profit with the following purpose: "To preserve and promote the great highland bagpipe, excellence in piping, and the love of bagpipe music." Now in its 18th year, the band has already accomplished many of its goals. The band has sent several pipers, drummers and dancers to summer schools and camps. Over the years the band has played at innumerable parades, dinners, parties, funerals, weddings, ceilidhs, holiday events and highland games and festivals from San Luis Obispo to Mammoth Lakes. The band teaches piping and drumming to anyone who has a genuine interest and willingness to work hard to learn.

The Ripon Police and Fire Pipe Band was founded by Pipe Majors Gary Speed, Abe Cisneros, and President Phil McGill. Phil was also co-founder of the Irish Cultural Society of Stanislaus County. The band and society support each other. The Ripon Police & Fire Pipe Band consists of thirty members, more than half of which are under the age of sixteen. All being volunteers, teach piping and drumming to anyone who would like to learn free of charge. There are no special requirements. We play mostly Irish tunes and are available for special events or service. We practice at the P.A.L. building at 233 Main Street, Ripon, California 95321 on Tuesday's at 6:00p.m. The Ripon Police & Fire Pipe Band is sponsored by Dunbar Bagpipes of Canada. Some members also play with the Jack Dunbar Memorial Pipe Band founded by Abe Cisneros.
  The Gold Coast Pipe Band  a Camarillo-based Gold Coast Pipe Band is a competitive band that was formed in 1999 by a group of award winning pipers for the purpose of becoming a premier performance band in the Ventura, Santa Barbara and Los Angeles areas. The band has appeared at many events - most notably playing on stage numerous times with the Chieftain's during their US tours, the wedding of Sandra Bullock and Jesse James in Santa Barbara, on the set of the most recent Ewan McGregor movie 'Beginners' - commencements, St. Patrick's Day celebrations, birthday and anniversary parties, golf tournaments, military, fire and police department functions as well as funerals, parades, fundraisers, car shows and civic affairs. The band recently surprised "Cheers" star John Ratzenberger on his 60th birthday. It's members have played for the funeral of a fallen Green Baret at Arlington National Cemetery, played for the wedding of TV star Mark-Paul Gosselaar, appeared on TV, radio and movie soundtracks. The Gold Coast Pipe Band proudly wears the Wallace tartan to all of its events! Music selections the band has played over the years incorporate many old-time favorites such as 'Amazing Grace' and 'Scotland the Brave' as well as new tunes that create memorable performances.
  Pasadena Scottish Pipes and Drums is a competitive pipe band consisting of bagpipes, snare drums, tenor drums and bass drum. Since the very first year, the band has been a competitive pipe band, winning numerous awards and trophies. They have been the WUSPBA (Western United States Pipe Band) champions twice in grade 4, and are the reigning champs in grade 3 for the 2nd year. They have performed locally and internationally, traveling to Canada, Scotland and even China! In addition, they perform at private events and charity benefits, including numerous American Cancer Society "Relay for Life" events.

Lots of Fun Activities!
Clan Macleod Dancers (Scottish Country dancing), The Downtown Dance Arts Irish Tappers, and more.  Highland dance evolved in its current form during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries in the context of competitions at public events (namely Highland games), where it is often performed to the accompaniment of Highland bagpipe music. Highland dancers wear specialized shoes called ghillies. Highland dance has been subject to many influences from outside the Highlands.

Story Telling and Blacksmithing Demonstrations
Gypsy Time Travelers  (Michel Olson and Christy Horne) are the husband and wife team who have history ringing in the ears of millions of people across the USA!  They travel all across the United States in Florence, their Recreational Castle, Blacksmith Shop and Stage Rig.  They combine fabulous storytelling with anvil accompaniment and have created an award winning Stage Show that has been called The Best in Family EDUTAINMENT. In 2012, over 5,000 items were made and given away to audience members in free drawings following every show. Gypsies, Tinkers or Travelers as they were called across Europe and Asia, were the first of the traveling Vaudevillian style entertainers and the last of the traveling Master Craftsmen.  Gypsy Time Travelers keep these traditions alive for future generations.

 Children's Glen!
Free Children's Heavy Athletics sponsored by The Kern County Scottish Society and Bounce House Playland.
Children can pick up a passport from the KCSS booth to fill when visiting the Clan area and turn it in at the Children's Glen for a prize provided by the Kern County Scottish Society. 
 Scotch Tasting by the Shot and Flight (3-5 tastes of different scotches)
Chris Uhde is the President of the Southern California Whiskey Club. He is also the Scotch Master for the United Scottish Society of Southern California, the West Coast brand Ambassador for Impex Beverages, and the Whisky Advisor for the Daily Pint in Santa Monica. He has been featured in Tasting Panel Magazine and has 14 years in the Spirits industry. Affectionately known as the Whisky Red Head or Whisky Ginger, Chris travels throughout the West Coast educating both retailers and consumers about the process of making and drinking fine whiskies.

Clans - Interested in joining us?
So far the following clans are planning on coming out:

MacDougall, Logan, Fraser, MacMillan, Douglas, Lamont, Fraser, Wallace, Cochrane, Campbell, Armstrong, Irvin/Irwin, and Scottish American Military. 

Don't see your clan represented?  Contact Scott Irwin and consider representing your clan today!


 Vendors - Interested in joining us?
Contact Us!          

2015 Vendor packets will be gladly sent to you by email or give us a call at 661-865-8890 or                                                                                                                        



Come & Join Us! 
Become a

Did you know that by volunteering a mere 3 hours of your time to help at the 20th Annual Kern County Scottish Games & Gathering you get free admission to the event? Plus an opportunity to make new friends, see old friends, and rub elbows with some handsome Scotsmen.  Please call 661-865-8890 or send an email to and include your name, phone number and email address.
Sponsorships Opportunities are available! We appreciate all offers of sponsorships and have various opportunities for individual, business, or corporate sponsorships.  Please contact

Our Proud Sponsors in 2015 are:

   Please support our sponsor, NewCastle Brown Ale.
   Scottish Heavy Athletics is hosting the 2015 Games.   For more info on heavy athletic events, go to

 Bright House Networks
Please support this year's new, sponsor Bright House Networks.  KCSS appreciates their generosity!
 Interested in becoming a sponsor?  Contact us at  Sponsorship levels includes a multitude of perks.  We are also looking for any donation in kind for raffle prizes.  Donations are tax deductible!
Kern County Scottish Games in the News
Bakersfield California - Great Scots - Time to Call the Clans
Traditional Scottish Music in Kern County

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