An athlete competes in the sheaf toss, a 16-pound bale of hay thrown for height.
DUNEDIN – Attendance was up about 30 percent at the 2014 Dunedin Highland Games and Festival April 5, with just under 5,000 people coming through gates.
“The games, by all accounts, were our biggest and best ever,” Alan McHale, president of the Dunedin Highland Games, said in an email. “In athletics two world records were broken. In piping and drumming, solo performance, with 110 contestants – this was the highest in the state of Florida. The weather, of course, was perfect, and the entertainment went on well into the night.”
The 48th annual event, held at Highlander Park, featured pipe bands vying for awards along with dancers, entertainers and athletes. More than 40 clans and societies signed up to set up shop in the Clan Village. Demonstrations by sheep-herding dogs were presented on the main field throughout the day.
For the first time, an area was set aside for kids and it was busy all day.
“Our plan is to extend that next year as we want to become more of a family friendly event,” McHale said.
Sponsors were happy and many have expressed an interest in coming back next year, McHale said.
Even planners learned that as the festival and games continue to grow, they will need more volunteers and committee members. Anybody interested in volunteering should visit dunedinhighlandgames.com.