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Annual event again packs Dunedin’s Highlander Park

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Published:   |   Updated: April 18, 2013 at 11:44 AM
DUNEDIN -

The 2013 Dunedin Highland Games and Festival provided another full day of Celtic sights and sounds for a crowd eager to soak it all in Saturday afternoon at the city’s Highlander Park.

There were the brawny men and women participating in all sorts of athletic contests, clans proudly displaying their heritage, pipe bands, Old World dancers and — of course — plenty of plaid kilts to go around.

The thousands of spectators didn’t need to wander far before finding something to pique their interests. Booths lined all throughout the park that showed off clan heritage, sold merchandise or offered food, beverages and beer to the hungry and thirsty.

Always the most popular attraction is the Highland Games, something of a Scottish strongman competition. A large, grassy area of the spacious park is fenced off and people gather around to watch men and women pick up and toss large poles called cabers or throw heavy weights of various shapes and sizes all over the place.

The event, in its 47th year, is a celebration of the town’s Scottish heritage that dates back to just before the turn of the 20th century.

According to the festival’s website, Scottish families originally settled there in 1899, with J.O. Douglas and James Sumerville eventually naming the settlement Dunedin.

Dunedin is the Scottish Gaelic name of Edinburgh, their hometown.

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