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 to be announced

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, Saltire cookies from Smith's Bakery, 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, (2014 Chieftain was Mayor Harvey L. Hall).

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.

   Games General Admission $TBA
   Combo (both Games & Ceilidh) $TBA
   Ceilidh (Celtic Music Party - requires separate ticket or combo purchase) $TBA
   Children 10 and under - Free!
   Games: Seniors 60+, Military, Students $13 *Purchase At the Gate*
   Kern County Fairgrounds charges $3 for parking
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.


Piping &
Drumming Bands
and Competition

Scotch Tasting
by the shot
and flight

March of the

& Story Telling

Children's Glen
with Lots of
Children's Games

Heavy Athletics
Highland Games

20 Clan Tents /

Haggis and

Tea Room


Petting Zoo, Bounce
Houses, Children's
Rock Climbing Wall

Food &


Highland and

Kirkin' of
the Tartan

Car Shows
Bakersfield British
Car Club 
MidCal 's Minis

Haggis Toss
Men's & Women's

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.

2014 Live Music performances!  2015 line-up will be announced soon.
  Wicked Tinkers bring their high energy, tribal Celtic sound that will have you dancing on the tables – a Tribal Celtic Sound Explosion! Prepare yourself for a wild ride with WICKED TINKERS! Pioneers of the growing Tribal Celtic movement, the Tinkers have been playing haunting, heart-pounding bagpipes and irresistible tribal drums as a professional touring band since 1995. With the addition, several years back, of the mesmerizing drone of the Australian didgeridoo and Bronze Age Irish horn, the magic was complete. Sit back and be transported to an earlier time in Scotland and Ireland, when battle cries filled the air and strange, unheard-of creatures roamed the night. Or better yet, get on your feet and let your body move to ancient rhythms and forgotten sounds.

(Building 3) 11:15-12:00, 1:45-2:30, 3:45-4:30
(Ceilidh event 9:00-10:00)

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").

(Acoustic Stage) 10:00-10:45, 1:00-1:45, 3:00-3:45
(Ceilidh event 6:00-6:15)


Whiskey Galore The band evolved in 1997 as a result of friendship and a deep passion for Celtic music between Mike Bowen and Kevin Brliley. With the addition of Jeff Davis in 2002 this duo became a trio. Bassist Rich Spencer joined the band in 2004, making the band a quartet. We are frequently supported by the lovely singing voice of piper Kevin's wife Kristin. The band is based in Bakersfield, California; their motto is "American Bred, Celtic Fed". Whiskey Galore's spirited brand of music has stirred fans in various venues in California and Nevada.

(Building 3) 10:15-11, 12:45-1:302:45-3:30
(Ceilidh event 6:30-7:30)

Wrenwood 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.

(Tea Room inside Building 2) 10:00-10:45, 12:45-1:30, 2:35-3:20
  Slugger O-Toole An LA-based Celtic trad/rock quartet who share a passion for the working, fighting, and drinking songs of Ireland.  We hail from the four corners, and were thrown together by our mutual love of the music and culture.  Slugger concocts a lethal brew of foot-stomping classics, deft instrumentals, and accapella killers.  Everybody sweats, everybody sings!  Slugger's live shows span the state of California, and include The Ford Amphitheatre in Los Angeles, The Three Stages in Folsom, The Irvine Barclay in Irvine, The California Center For the Arts in Escondido, as well as popular LA haunts including Molly Malone's, The Tam O'Shanter, O'Brien's on Main, Viva Cantina, The Fox and The Hounds, Finn McCool's, The Tangier, The Banshee, and The Celtic Arts Center.  These shows have been (favorably) compared to "being punched in the face with a fistful of shamrocks.

(Acoustic Stage) 11:00-11:45, 2:00-2:45, 4:00-4:45
(Ceilidh event 7:45-8:45)

  Two for the Road (Donn Beedle/fiddle and viola) and (Karana Hattersley-Drayton, vocals/keyboard/bodhran) play Celtic and American roots music, from Irish fiddle tune medleys to Western swing songs.  For the Bakersfield Scottish Games they will focus on their Scottish repertoire, with a few Irish pieces in the mix.  The duet also play in the band “Pipe on the Hob” which appeared at the Games in 2013.

(Tea Room inside Building 2) 11:00-11:45, 1:40-2:25, 3:30-4:15
String15  String15 Jason Thieste, widely acclaimed Fiddlist of Smoking Armadillo fame, teams with Loren Barton, also acclaimed in the Bluegrass world as the guitar and banjo playing  half of the Barton Brothers, and Alex Wilson, an incredible cello artist/instructor who has studied under the legendary Scottish Fiddle/Cello duo, Alistair Frasier and Natalie Haas, to bring a whole new sound to the Games that can be nothing less than sensational.

(in the Gazebo) 11:00-11:45, 3:45-4:30

in the Gazebo

9:30-10:15      Black and Gold Cloggers
10:30-10:45    Downtown Dance Arts Irish Tappers
11:00-11:45    String 15
12:45-1:15      Clan Mac Leod
1:30-2:15        Black and Gold Cloggers
2:30-2:45        Downtown Dance Irish Tappers
3:00-3:30        Clan Mac leod
3:45-4:30        String 15

Live Pipe Bands / Piping and Drumming Competitions (judged by Aaron Shaw)  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.
  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!
Fresno Highland Dancers, 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.

(Showtimes - 11:00, 1:30, 3:00, 4:00)
 Children's Glen!
Sponsored by The Society for Disabled Children free games and activities. Children's Heavy Athletics. Bounce House Playland, rock climbing wall and free petting zoo.  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.  Treasure Hunt Tickets $3 children 4-12.  All Treasure Hunt proceeds benefit the Society for Disabled Children.
 Scotch Tasting by the Shot and Flight (3-5 tastes if 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.
 Marie Gaspari Crawford, the Dark Well's Falconer
Marie is a Master Falconer from Palomino Valley, Nevada.  She will provide us with amazing live presentations on birds of prey. Marie has been a falconer since 2000 and possess a Masters license in falconry with the state and federal government. Having possessed both captive bred Falcons and trapped Raptors, she has worked with many different types of raptors.

Being a falconer is more than just having a wild thing you care for, it a sense that you are caring on a tradition that few will ever understand, It’s not only been governed by state and fed law but more than that it’s the unwritten laws the ethics and passion that has been passed down for century’s for a living creature.

(Fly Showtimes - 11:00, 2:00 - available for questions between shows)

Clans - Interested in joining us?
With over 20 clans joining us, you won't want to be left out!  For more information, please contact Scott Irwin

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 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








Come & Join Us! 
Become a

Did you know that by volunteering a mere 3 hours of your time to help at the 18th Annual Kern County Scottish Games & Gathering you get free admission? 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 2014 were:

   Please support our sponsor, NewCastle Brown Ale.
   Scottish Heavy Athletics is hosting the 2013 Games.   For more info on heavy athletic events, go to
   The Society for Disabled Children is sponsoring the Children's Glen.
1819 Brundage Lane, Bakersfield CA 661-322-5595
   Dagny's Coffee Company will be providing the delicious scones in the great Tea Room.
1600 20th St, Bakersfield CA  661-634-0806
   San Joaquin Collision 3816 Fruitvale Ave, Bakersfield CA 661-587-0945
   World Records - a gathering place for people who love music and also where you can purchase tickets for our events.   2815 F St, Bakersfield, CA 661-831-3100 - Mon–Fri 10am–6pm / Sat 10am–1pm

 Mission Family Mortuary
 531 California Ave, Bakersfield CA  661-323-3339

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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