Photos and story by Meg Jackson
Whether or not you’re of Scottish heritage, everyone was welcome at this year’s Bellingham Scottish Highland Games to enjoy live Celtic music, camel rides, food and merchandise vendors, and to watch the heavy athletics competitions. The festival takes place at Hovander Homestead Park in Ferndale during the first weekend of June every year. Hundreds of people attended to watch and support those competing in the games, such as the sheaf toss and the weight throw.
The sheaf toss is a traditional Scottish sport where the competitor uses a pitchfork to hurl a burlap bag stuffed with straw over a horizontal bar above their head. The bar is periodically raised by one or two feet, and he or she who gets the bag over the bar at its highest point is the winner. The weight throw is a similar concept, but competitors must throw a large weight over a bar at the greatest height. Among the games, music, and vendors was a wildlife encounters show from Predators of the Heart, where people gathered to see and learn about snakes, lizards, birds of prey, wolves, and cougars.