Highland Games Press Room
GMHG is a nonprofit, non-stock corporation licensed under the laws of North Carolina to carry on and promote the annual Grandfather Mountain Highland Games and Gathering of Scottish Clans, to foster and restore interest in traditional dancing, piping, athletic achievement and Gaelic culture, and to create and establish scholarship funds to assist students from Avery County High School to study at American colleges and universities.
Event Dates: July 8-11, 2021
Always held on the second full weekend in July. The earliest the Games will occur is July 6-9 (in years when the first of July falls on a Saturday), and the latest it occurs is July 9-12 (in years when the first of July falls on a Sunday).
Special in 2021: The Grandfather Mountain Highland Games once again will begin with Thursday night’s Torchlight Ceremony, where the clans officially come together to celebrate their Scottish heritage. Friday and Saturday are filled with highland dancing competition, border collie demonstrations, Scottish fiddle and harp competitions, Gaelic singing, Scottish country dancing, piping and drumming competitions, Scottish spinning and weaving, track and field events including the popular kilted mile, and Scottish athletic events including the caber toss. Other popular features include the Grandfather Mountain Marathon and “The Bear,” a five-mile race that begins at the foot of Grandfather Mountain and climbs up to a height of 1,568 feet.
Crossnore Volunteer Fire Department
Caldwell Community College
Avery County High School
Rotary Club and the Hunger Coalition of Watauga County
Avery Baptist Association
Kiwanis of Banner Elk
- Linville Volunteer Fire Department
Featured Highland Bagpipe Bands in 2021: T
Additional pipe bands for 2021 include The Harvey E. Ritch Memorial Pipe Band, Jamestown Pipes and Drums, Loch Norman Pipe Band, Montreat Scottish Pipes and Drums, North Carolina State University Pipes and Drums and Blue Ridge Brass Pipes and Drums.
Featured Musical Performers in 2021: The Brothers McLeod, Chambless and Muse, Ed Miller, Emerald Rae, Jennifer Licko, Jiggernaut, Marybeth McQueen, Piper Jones Band, The Reel Sisters, Seven Nations, StrathSpan, The Tune Shpherds, Will MacMorran, Wolf Loescher and more.
Highland Games Scholars:
- Emma Kitchin
- Emmalee Carver
- Lilly Markland
- Cyle Hicks
- Jaime Bautista
- Tatum Hall
- Mikaela Johnson
- Laci Powell
- Jonah Hayes
- Katie Calhoun