2014 Stone Mountain Highland Games   Leave a comment

Stone Mountain Highland Games is the largest highland games in the southeast, and we were very excited to make this trip! It was the first time our own pipers and drummers would march in massed bands wearing our new uniforms!
Immediately upon walking through the entrance, we were met by snare drummer Tom Foote from Wake and District Public Safety Pipes and Drums. He was very nice and upon learning our quest to march in massed bands, he invited us to play with them! We were very flattered for the invitation.
Once we had base camp set up, we explored the whole games. The first thing you see is the falconry exhibit.

A red tail hawk


Just behind the falconry, we saw some great Highland Dancing.

Walking back toward the solo competitions, Ian showed off how much he can fit in his sporran:

Ian can fit a Duncan Pulse yoyo, candy, and Gatorade sticks in his sporran

We watched several solo competitors in each percussion event. While watching the solo tenor competitions we talked with several Jamestown Pipes and Drums drummers who we had met earlier in the year at the Atlanta Workshop. They were very nice, and when they saw we had young tenors (Della was in the same grade as their Maggie), they immediately offered to let us march with them in massed bands. They also said we should meet Roxanna who loves working with kids. Here we watched Jamestown’s Maggie Wells compete (with a fill-in piper from St. Andrews University):


We then watched some bagpipe competitors:

From there we walked through pipe band row, where all the pipe bands raise tents and have their own area to warm-up, eat, relax, etc. Everyone then split up and explored the other venues (clan tents, vendors, heavy athletics, performers) before meeting back up for massed bands opening ceremony.
With the massed bands opening ceremony approaching, we grabbed our instruments and walked toward pipe band row. We had committed to Wake and District first and approached their tent apprehensively. It can be very intimidating to walk up to people that are upper grade competitors who have no idea who you are. However, we were VERY warmly welcomed and treated as old friends, if not family!

Jean Russell give the tenors a quick check while we warm up our pipes

Last minute instructions before lineup

Pipers ready!

Drummers ready!

Massed Bands Wave 1

Emily (and Della!) does an awesome job in the tenor line!

PCSPB pipers stay in line

Ian in the ranks!

A field of 600+ pipers and drummers!

The entire 600+ member massed bands counter-marching

Counter marching

PCSPB drummers buried in the drumline

Wave 1 was the last to march off the field

Exiting the parade field

We did it!

After eating lunch, we watched the pipe bands competition:

After recovering from long day, we returned to Stone Mountain and watched the laser light show (updated for 2014).

The next morning, we packed up and ate a hearty breakfast in preparation of a great moral builder: to climb Stone Mountain! We parked at the base of the skyride and walked about a mile to the start of the walk-up trail, where we start chewing gum.

We all add to the gumpole!

A cool tree you can climb under!

Still climbing…

We rested at the halfway house (no water or bathrooms).

Still climbing…

Resting before a steep climb

Climbing a steep side. Ian finds the path less taken.

Resting after the steep side climb

The last side to climb!

The top! Ms. Beall and Della are pooped!

Zenith!

We made it! Emily brought her wee coo.

After exploring the top, we took the skyride down to the bottom. We purchased some souvenirs, then headed home.

Our sincere thanks to Wake and District Public Safety Pipes and Drums and Jamestown Pipes and Drums for their warm and friendly welcoming of us into the membership and “family” of pipe bands!

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Posted October 20, 2014 by pcspipeband in News

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