How to prepare for GMHG Covid-19 Protocols
To attend the GMHG, the COVID Plan requires masks in certain areas and hand sanitizing.
Masks are required by Federal regulation while in line or on a shuttle bus.
Masks are recommended in the bleachers, while standing in food lines, in the Patron's Hospitality Tent, and in the Music Groves.
Everyone is encouraged to review the Plan below before coming to the Games. Of course, the Plan is subject to revision if circumstances change regarding the presence of COVID in our society. All ticket holders will be notified by email with any COVID-19 Protocols before the games.
COVID-19 GMHG Operating Plan
May 19, 2021 Revision 1
Submitted by Stephen Quillin, President of the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games, Inc.
The Grandfather Mountain Highland Games is scheduled for July 8th through July 11th, at MacRae Meadows in Linville, NC. Since 1956, the Games has been held at MacRae Meadows every year except 2020.
The Grandfather Mountain Highland Games Board of Trustees is committed to holding a safe and responsible event. All attendees are being strongly encouraged to get vaccinated against COVID if they possibly can, and to wear masks, wash hands, and socially distance when possible. Warnings about the risk of COVID are prominently featured on our website, and we are advocating for responsible behavior with respect to COVID before, during, and after our event.
As we near the date of the games, this plan is subject to revision and approval in accordance with North Carolina restrictions and CDC and guidelines.
The Grandfather Mountain Highland Games Board has cancelled our traditional indoor events due to COVID concerns. We hope they can resume in 2022. Events cancelled for 2021 include:
- Patron’s Reception (held in the Best Western in Banner Elk)
- Scottish Country Dance Gala (held in the Lees MacRae gym)
- Scottish Cultural Village (held in a large tent with sidewalls on the field)
Camping is allowed as a part of our Festival. Camping begins July 2 and ends July 12. The Grandfather Mountain Board of Trustees has established a cap of 80% of the 2019 population of campers in order to allow more space between campsites.
Shuttle busing is provided for the majority of Highland Games attendees. There will be three shuttle bus lots provided in the Linville area, and one in Boone. All four shuttle bus stations, guests will be required to wear masks while standing in line and while riding shuttle buses. The Grandfather Mountain Highland Games will have a limited number of masks available should they be needed. Drivers are instructed not to allow anyone without a mask onto a Games shuttle bus.
Events at MacRae Meadows
Grandfather Mountain Highland Games will have attendants working in the credit card ticket sales booth and the wrist band will-call booth. Anyone visiting either station who has not been vaccinated is strongly encouraged to wear a mask; anyone, vaccinated or not, who prefers to wear a mask is encouraged to do so.
Vendor tents will not be allowed to conduct business with side curtains dropped. Side curtains will only be permitted to divide vendor tents.
Food servers will be strongly encouraged to be masked.
Guests will not be required to wear masks while sitting in the bleachers. Anyone sitting in the bleacherswho has not been vaccinated is strongly encouraged to wear a mask; anyone, vaccinated or not, who prefers to wear a mask is encouraged to do so.
Attendance in the Grandstand will be limited to officials, announcers, and invited guests and performers. Anyone not meeting those criteria will be asked to vacate the area.
Masks will not be required in the Hospitality Tent, although masks are strongly encouraged for those people who are not vaccinated.
Masks will not be required in the Groves, although masks are strongly encouraged for those people who are not vaccinated.
Parade of Tartans
Participants in the Tartan Parade are not required to wear masks, although masks are strongly encouraged for those people who are not vaccinated.
Scottish Cultural Village Tent
The typical Scottish Cultural Village lectures will not occur this year. The tent will be erected but no side panels will be installed. The Games staff will provide 100 chairs instead of the normal compliment of 200+, and the tent space can be scheduled for different family groups who wish to hold meetings. No more than two meetings may be scheduled concurrently.