Last year the Greenville Scottish Games normally held on Furman University’s campus was canceled due to COVID-19. John Allen, who is on the board of directors for the games, didn’t want two years to go by without the games. Allen proposed an abbreviated version be held at McKinney Park in Woodruff, S.C. John Allen is husband to Yana Allen, owner of Rotties 221 Biergarten, located in Woodruff, S.C.
The Games will consist of seven events for men and women: Open Stone Put, Tossing the Weight for Distance (Heavy and Light weight), Throwing the Hammers, Tossing the Caber, Tossing the Sheaf, and Heavy Weight Over Bar. Yes, everyone has to wear a kilt.
A favorite of the lasses is the Bonnie Knees Contest. This is where ladies from the audience are chosen to judge the contestants’, men in kilts, knees. The ladies are blindfolded and must judge the knees by touch only.
The wee ones will also have activities to enjoy such as blow ups and face paintings.
There will be food vendors and craft vendors. Contact Kay Reed if you are interested in being a vendor at (864) 630-4116.
“You never know who you’re going to run into at a Highland Games,” said John Allen. In 2010, The Greenville Scottish Games hosted Prince Edward. “It is the only time to date, that I’m aware of, that a British Royal has attended the games outside of England,” said Allen.
Allen has thrown with, Hafthor Bjornsson, “The Mountain” from The Game of Thrones. He has also thrown with Mike Babb who was a lineman for the Cleveland Browns in the 1980s.
Allen says the sport is like non-other, and you get sucked into it very quickly. It’s an individual sport, but like nothing else, he’s ever competed in. “It’s a camaraderie like I’ve never experienced anywhere else,” said Allen.
Allen has won the Scottish Games, Southeastern National Championship in 2010, 2011, and 2012.
Afterward, Greenville Pipes and Drums will march from the park to the after-party at Rotties 221 Biergarten, located across the street from McKinney Park, where the event is happening. From 4:30 pm – 7:30 pm, a Celtic band will perform at Block 224, the cities newest public space, which is just a couple of doors down from Rotties.
CPR will be playing from 8:00pm -11:00pm at Rotties.
Also, Rotties will launch their very own Scotch Ale they made in collaboration with Cyclopes Brewery.
And if you’re wondering if there is a rain make-up day… “The Scots don’t cancel on account of rain,” said Allen.
When asked how this event would impact the City of Woodruff, Lee Bailey, City Manager, said, “This is a great opportunity to have an amazing event that will bring hundreds of visitors to Woodruff to experience what a great city we are. We hope this will increase sales to all of our hospitality and retail establishments.”
Event: The Greenville Scottish Games
When: Saturday, May 1 from 9:00am to 4:00pm.
Where: Mckinney Park in Woodruff, S.C.
Sponsored by: Greenville Scottish Games and Rotties 221 Biergarten.