NHSCOT highland games festival banner press info


August 24, 2023
For more information, contact Sullivan Creative, [email protected]

Get Your Scot On at the 48th Annual NH Highland Games & Festival
Hands-On Activities, Live Music, Fierce Competition, & Fun at Loon Mountain Resort, Sept. 15-17


LINCOLN, N.H. – Music and dance, food & drink, pageantry, and elite athletic competition return to Loon Mountain Resort in Lincoln, New Hampshire, September 15 – 17, during the 48th Annual New Hampshire Highland Games & Festival.

Presented by NHSCOT, the NH Highland Games & Festival is one of the largest Scottish cultural events in the Northeast and welcomes visitors, competitors, and vendors from around the world to celebrate Scottish culture and Get Your Scot On.

Single-day tickets and three-day weekend passes are available for purchase online. Advance ticket purchases are highly recommended for this event. Once sold out, no event tickets will be sold at the gate. Any parties interested in purchasing Saturday tickets are strongly encouraged to buy in advance to guarantee admission.


Competitors Showcase Traditional Scottish Skills

Heavy athletics are a staple of the NH Highland Games & Festival, attracting elite athletes to compete in traditional Scottish sports. The heavy athletic competition is an invitation-only event featuring professional, master, amateur, and disabled athletes competing in a variety of athletic games including the Caber Toss, Weight Over Bar, and Loon Stone Carry.

A new Celtic stone lifting challenge, Clach Neart: A Stonelifting Challenge, will be taking place on Parade Square Friday, September 15 at 12pm.  Clach Neart is Gaelic for stones of strength. For thousands of years, stones have been used to gauge strength and endurance. Six competitors will compete in this challenge, including Chloe Brennan from England, who set a record for lifting Rogue Replica Dinnie Stones in 2022.

Sheep dog trials are another popular event which only take place on Friday during Games weekend. Sheep dogs, guided by their handlers use personalized whistle commands to herd a pack of sheep through obstacles with speed and efficiency. This is an invitation only competition, where the winner is awarded the Campbell Cup trophy.

Throughout the weekend, a variety of dance and music competitions also take place, which provide competitors the opportunity to showcase their skills in fiddle, piobaireachd, Scottish harp, solo piping and drumming, and pipe and drum bands. 


Live Music All Weekend

Nearly a dozen professional musicians and bands will be performing the sounds of Scotland at five venues across festival grounds. Traditional acoustic ballads and melodies, bag-rock, and upbeat Celtic songs are among the many music styles to be heard during the weekend.  Massed Bands is a fan favorite and consists of two-dozen pipe and drum bands marching and performing in unison along Parade Square. 

This year’s Games will also see the return of The Red Hot Chilli Pipers, the world’s most famous bagpipe band, who will be performing at a variety of set times during the Games in addition to headlining the Saturday Night Concert with Albannach, scheduled for September 16 at 7:30pm. The Red Hot Chilli Pipers have been twice awarded “Best Live Act in Scotland” and their feel-good music appeals to audiences of all ages all over the world.


Hands-On Activities & Intriguing Seminars

Highland Games weekend offers plenty of opportunities to engage with Scottish culture through hands-on activities, demonstrations, and seminars. Celebrate the culture of the Scottish Highlands during a free Try It class; play a Scottish instrument, learn to Highland dance, take a Gaelic lesson, or test your strength lifting a stone. Additional Try Its include street curling, Scottish country dancing, and mas wrestling (swingle tree).  

A highlight of this year’s Try its include Rhythm Master, Michael Eagle, a master of the rudimental drumming style, who will be instructing an interactive Snare Drum Try It. Participants will follow step-by-step video instructions using drumsticks and drum pads to reveal the secrets of the unique and storied style of Scottish Pipe Bands.

Seminars are an engaging way to delve into Scottish history and culture. This year’s offerings include cooking demonstrations by Gary Maclean, Scotland’s National Chef, and winner of MasterChef: The Professionals. Maclean will also be hosting a book signing for his newly released cookbook, Scottish Kitchen Cookery.

Laura Goodman, a professional historian, guide, and storyteller from Scotland will be enthralling guests with tales of Scotland. Carol Soules from Miles Smith Farm (Loudon, NH) will be attending the Games on Friday and Sunday with her Scottish Highland Cows in tow. Stop by for an informational seminar or photo opp throughout the day.  David Brody, a native of Laconia, NH will be discussing Scottish history, including Prince Henry Sinclair and the Exploration of America Before Columbus.  NHSCOT will also be holding a seminar with Collette Tours to discuss an upcoming trip to Scotland, Discover Scotland featuring the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo at Edinburgh Castle.

For a complete list of Try Its and Seminars, view the 2023 Program Guide.


Enjoy Festival Fare and Scottish Cuisine

Across the grounds, festivalgoers can absorb the culture and fares of Scotland. A stroll through Clan Village allows guests to discover their Scottish roots by talking with representatives of 60+ Scottish clans while the Historic Encampment showcases everyday life in the Scottish Highlands during the 14th – 18th centuries.

Vendor Village is home to more than 30 vendors selling tartan wearables, traditional Scottish sweets, bagpiping supplies, and various other Celtic items. Food vendors will also be on-site selling a range of Scottish cuisine: Scotch Eggs, meat pies, scones, shortbreads, and more, giving attendees a chance to explore the flavors of Scotland. Beer tents will be set up throughout the venue.


Special Ticketed Events to Enhance Your Experience

Attendees can elevate their Games experience through a variety of Special Ticketed Events showcasing Scottish food and drink, musical performances, and dinners with entertainment.

The Second Annual Scotch Ale Tasting & Competition will take place on Sunday, September 17. This competition will feature eight Scotch Ales from local breweries. This year’s competitors include Woodland Farms Brewery, Tuckerman Brewing, Concord Craft Brewing, Stoneface Brewing Co., Throwback Brewery, 603 Brewery, Woodstock Inn Brewery, and Kettlehead Brewing. Two ticket times available: 11am and 1pm. Must be 21+.

The Whisky & Spirits Tasting Tent is another popular add-on adventure, allowing guests to develop their palate by sampling a variety of spirits from Dewars, Angel’s Envy, Hotaling & Co, Terlato, Laphroaig Quarter Cask, Maker’s Mark 46, Basil Hayden Malted Rye, Laphroaig Single Malt 10YR, Suntory Toki, Maker’s Mark 101, and 10th Mountain Whisky. Must be 21+.

For a complete list of Special Ticketed Events, visit https://nhscot.org/special-ticketed-events/.


Ticket Information

The New Hampshire Highland Games & Festival offers single-day tickets and 3-day weekend passes. Tickets are available online at nhscot.org. Advance ticket purchases are recommended to expedite gate entrance. Single-day Saturday tickets sell out early.

Ticket prices are $35 for Friday admission; $59 for Saturday admission; $35 for Sunday admission and $99 for 3-day weekend passes. Single-day tickets for children ages 6 to 14 are $5; 3-day weekend passes for children ages 6 to 14 are $10. Children 5 and under are admitted free with a paying adult. 

Attendees have access to festival grounds from 8:00 A.M. – 5:00 P.M. daily; additional ticketed evening events will be held at various onsite and offsite locations throughout the weekend. The event is held rain or shine. Pets are not allowed on the grounds or in vehicles. Service dogs are admitted.

The New Hampshire Highland Games are presented by NHSCOT, a nonprofit corporation dedicated to preserving and promoting Scottish culture for future generations. The success of these Games, now in its 48th year, is a testimony to the enduring and welcoming spirit of this organization.


December 20, 2022
For more information, contact Sullivan Creative, [email protected]

Welcome 2023 at NHSCOT’s Hogmanay Celebration
January 1, 2023 – LaBelle Winery in Derry, NH
Ring in the New Year Scottish Style with live music, indoor & outdoor games, a cash bar & more

DERRY, N.H. – Join revelers of all ages at NHSCOT’s Hogmanay Celebration, Sunday, January 1, 2023, from 3:00 – 7:00pm at Labelle Winery in Derry, New Hampshire. This New Year’s Day celebration includes lively activities and spirited competitions both indoors and out!

With a wide range of Scottish pastimes as well as a selection of classic family-friendly activities, the evening will conclude with a torch-lit parade led by the event’s chosen Hogmanay Royalty to celebrate and welcome the New Year Scottish style.

Outdoors, Rebel Collective and the Pipes & Drums of NHSCOT will be entertaining the crowd. Grab a beverage from the bar or toast a s’more by the warming fires while listening to the tunes. Enjoy Try It classes in Street Curling or play in a friendly “haggis toss” competition.

Indoors, you can test your skills at Stramash, a popular Scottish strategy board game or show off your footwork with some Highland Dancing. Band members from the Pipes & Drums of NHSCOT will also be giving Try It lessons for bagpipes and drums.

“We can’t wait for our Hogmanay Celebration! Music and dancing, games and fun all wrapped in tartan. We have many surprises and activities planned,” explained Terri Wiltse, Executive Director of NHSCOT. “All are welcome to join in this New Year’s celebration – whether you’re Scottish or not!”

Tickets to Hogmanay are $32 per adult; $15 per child (6-14); and free for kids ages 5 and under. For tickets and further event details, visit https://nhscot.org/events/hogmanay/.

Hogmanay is presented by NHSCOT, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving and promoting Scottish culture for future generations. Their signature event, the New Hampshire Highland Games & Festival, is one of the largest and most diverse Highland Games held in North America. NHSCOT advances its mission through NHSCOT Fund grants and scholarships. Find more information at www.nhscot.org.