Yes, this is Scotland or as close to it as we can recreate: Scottish Highland Games, Woodland, California, the games.

Athletes who train, bands that practice, dancers who start at an early age–they were all there and from different countries. I didn’t realize how big time these games are. Children came from Ireland to compete in what I call the “Drum Major” competition. I’ve tried to find the correct name, but was unsuccessful. Who knows, I might be right! But they were there at the Scottish Highland Games.

I was impressed about how precise everything was. Uniforms had to be just so, routines had to be exact and the throw length in the games was measured. It was pure talent. So take a look at these people of all ages who trained and practiced. I hope you will take the time to view more than the normal amount of images.

Wait, this isn’t Scotland: The Scottish Highland Games, Woodland, California

Photography has pushed me to experience events that I would otherwise ignore–like The Scottish Highland Games in Woodland California. Too bad it took me so long to enjoy this festival because it was fun!

I went with photo buddies Marlene, Greg and Linda and got there shortly after they opened the gates. This was the festival’s second day, but there were still crowds. When we walked in the action was gearing up–athletes, dancers and bands were practicing.

Once they started, the field was bustling with activity. At least three activities at once were being judged. Off the field, contestants were getting ready for inspection, vendors were selling food, crafters were selling their wares and participants were in their camps.

This fair, presented by The Caledonian Club of Sacramento, is an all-volunteer effort enhanced through various sponsorships. I was amazed at how the participants immersed themselves into character, giving visitors a glimpse of what life was like back in the day.

In this post, I’ll focus on people who made the visit so worthwhile for me. I’m so glad photography brought me here.