Local News

Thousands gather on Grandfather Mountain for 2015 Highland Games

Posted July 10, 2015 6:39 p.m. EDT
Updated July 10, 2015 6:40 p.m. EDT

— Thousands of people of Scottish descent gathered on Grandfather Mountain Friday to kick off the 60th Annual Grandfather Mountain Highland Games.

At the celebration of Scottish heritage, young women participated for the first time in sporting events previously offered only for men.

Ashley Jenkins, of Raleigh, participated in the heavy weight for distance competition. The event involves throwing a 28 pound metal block fixed to a chain and handle with one hand for distance.

"For the first time ever, it is a real honor to be here," she said. "This is a big deal. It is a huge day."

Amanda Ford, of Wilmington, said she loves being able to be a part of the 2015 games. On Friday, she participated in the caber toss and threw a 20 foot log for distance.

"I just started throwing last year, and I just fell in love with it," she said. "I love being a part of it and being female. I know males have been doing this for a long time."

Flora MacDonald Gammon, whose uncle co-founded the games, said being beneath Grandfather Mountain reminds her of the homeland.

"People who come here from Scotland are amazed," she said. "They say it looks just like Scotland."

Earl MacFarland traveled from Virginia to enjoy the games.

"The best thing about coming here is hanging out with relatives and also going around looking for more relatives. My family, I think we got kicked out of Scotland,” he said jokingly.

The 2015 games continue through Sunday afternoon.