The Grandfather Mountain Highland
Games Newsletter
Spring/Summer 2005

 

The President Speaks

Despite the unusual weather the new Grandfather Mountain Highland Games building is now taking shape in the same location as the previous building, though the area has been build up approximately 5 feet to prevent similar disasters in the future. We will therefore conduct most of the 2005 Games business at the PIXIE MOTEL, Room #1, as was done in the early years of the games. |

We appreciate the support and monies donated toward the building fund in various ways and especially through the office building cairn at Linville. We are sure that many more Clans, Societies, Patrons, Sponsors, Families and Friends will want to have their names on the new office building cairn.

The 2005 Games souvenir program will be full of classic photos and stories of past years that all will want to own and treasure. The games staff has done a fabulous job in putting the souvenir program together and we are all in awe of what has been accomplished.

We look forward to these games in 2005 and know that General Manager Frank Vance and his staff, event managers, and support teams have worked very long hours and under very tight and stressful deadlines for all who attend this years’ games. A lot of wind and winter damage was done at MacRae Meadows that will also place an additional burden on the games support teams as they ready the meadows for the games on July 7th through the 10th, 2005.

We will continue to communicate with all regarding what is going on at the Grandfather Mountain games and will welcome your input to help improve these games. Our mutual vision is to constantly strive to be the premier Scottish Highland games and gathering of Clans, Guests, Families, Sponsors, Patrons, and Visitors. We will also work diligently to be the model games of integrity and excellence for all.

Sincerely,

Ross M. Morrison, Jr.

 

A World Class Event...

Many of our visitors find our small, secluded locale to be one of the characteristics that draws them to the festival. However, the small town of Linville has now officially been put on the map. We at the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games are pleased to share our recent honors with everyone. We work very diligently every year to make our event the best in its class, and are very proud to have found our event mentioned in various publications as a top vacation event for travelers.

American Airlines and Culture Spotter in conjunction with the Smithsonian magazine listed the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games as a top event in July, alongside the world-renowned Tour De France.

The Grandfather Mountain Highland Games is also looking forward to a cameo in the New York Times, being mentioned as one of the top events going on this summer.

We were further pleased to find that the Southeast Tennessee Tourism Society has listed our festival as one of the Top 20 Events for the month of July. This list receives extensive exposure in print media, web, and television and radio in the United States and Canada.

It is sometimes hard to believe that the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games had its humble beginnings 50 years ago. It is nice to be able to look back on photographs that remind us how much the games, and the area itself, have grown over the years. What was once a small, bumpy, dirt road is now a highway that has become a well traveled path for many. We now see crowds that are in the hundreds of thousands over the course of the weekend, and only hope that our events continue to grow and prosper.

We are extremely excited about the plans that are in the works for the 50th Grandfather Mountain Highland Games. We try to make each year a little bit better than the previous one, but for a birthday this big, we are pulling out all the stops.

We have designed a special commemorative program that showcases numerous highlights from years past, with photographs that are sure to spark the interest of our younger Scotts and the memories of those who have been around a little longer.

We are also excited about having the Green Beret Parachute Team with us on Thursday night and Friday morning. Our opening ceremonies on Thursday evening will be started off with the parachuters jumping from helicopters over the field, bringing flags down with them. The field opens at 9:00 Friday morning, with the opening ceremonies for the day being prompted by the entrance of the Green Beret Parachute Team. A new addition to the itinerary, we believe that it should turn out to be most memorable.

The Grandfather Mountain Highland Games will also be featuring a great variation of musical acts, from the contemporary Celtic rockers to the more traditional music of old Scotland. We have once again invited Clan an Drumma and Off Kilter, among others, to perform. As a special treat, the Saline Fiddlers will also be performing this year. They are a young group of performers who are quite accomplished fiddlers, and put on quite a performance.

Our staff is working very hard to make this games an enjoyable experience for all those in attendance. We have planned activities that should prove to be interesting additions to the normal itinerary, and hope that all those who come to the meadows will have a wonderful time and get a taste of Scotland.

General Manager's Perspective

To all friends, sponsors and patrons of the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games:

With the floodwaters receded we are finally getting back to some sense of normalcy these days. As noted in the previous newsletter, our office building was destroyed in the floods brought on by Hurricane Frances and then Hurricane Ivan in September of last year. After cleaning up, cleaning out, and salvaging the few things that were not ruined by the water, our old office was torn apart and burned to the ground to make way for the new building.

Although the process seems to be progressing rather slowly, the site has been cleared and leveled, and the new building is now underway. I am proud to say that the vision for a “Scottish-looking” building to house the operation will hopefully become a reality. The plans were approved by the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games Board of Directors, and we are all looking forward to moving into new facilities. In the weeks and months following the floods, I came to loathe driving through Linville. I know the work that every staff member puts into these games, and it was very sad to see an empty space with only a few ruined pieces of what served as the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games headquarters for so long. Seeing the beginnings of a new building is almost like seeing the first green leaves of spring after a long and cold winter.

One change that I will note is the use of cut block instead of stone. At this time we simply do not have enough money in the building fund to feasibly afford stone to face the entire building. We will be using cut block on the building itself, and then stone on the chimneys.

It is our hope that we will be able to move into our new facilities by the beginning of 2006. Even though we are still short on monies, the board decided that we should not wait any longer to begin this undertaking. We have raised approximately three-fourths of the amount necessary, due to the generosity of so many. I feel confident that there are still people who see the games as an important aspect of their lives, and who will continue to support us in this endeavor.

We are, of course, busy preparing for the 50th games. Our office staff is scattered at the moment, but we are working from cramped spaces and private homes to keep up with things. Our field crews have already begun working on the grounds, and will no doubt have the field in immaculate shape by the first part of July.

Above: A view of the foundation of the new office, taken from the parking lot of the Tartan restaurant. The location is the same, but the new building should provide a change of scenery.

Below: A side view taken from the area where our parking spaces were located.

 

 

For all of you who are able to help us in this monumental undertaking, the GMHG board plans on commemorating your generosity in a very special way that will be remembered as long as the Games continues. Every gift, no matter how large or small, will make a big difference. We will hold to our promise of not using the Bobbie Groves rain-out fund for anything other than its intended purpose. Therefore, the funds that we can generate in the coming months will determine the extent to which we can make this building a reality. We also want to remind you that, as a non-profit organization, we have always remained true to our commitment of providing scholarships for education while at the same time maintaining the quality that people have come to expect from this celebration.

Grandfather Mountain Highland Games and Gathering of Scottish Clans

P.O. Box 1095

Linville, NC 28646-1095

Phone: (828) 733-1333

Fax: (828) 733-0092

e-mail: highlandgames@vol.com

Secure Online Ordering Available

Above: Perspective drawing of the proposed design of the new GMHG office building by Avery High School student Thomas Pittman. The structure will be located on the same site as the present building, with an increased elevation to avoid flooding. Everything Scottish, Ltd. will occupy the lower level, while the GMHG offices will be on the upper level.

The 50th Annual Grandfather Mountain Highland Games will be
July 7th-10th, 2005.