Scottish terrier dressed for the Highland Games, 1997. Photo: Eric Dusenbery
Dunedin Highland Games and Festival
Florida's largest and oldest continuous Highland
Games are held each April in Dunedin, a Gulf Coast city. For one
week, the whole city is Scottish with dancing, games, and authentic
Scottish food. The town was chartered in 1898, and took its name
from the original Gaelic designation for Edinburgh. Early in
Dunedin's history, Dunedin became one of the state's chief seaport
and trading centers, and, at one time, it had the largest fleet of
sailing vessels in Florida.
Many Scottish settlers in America brought their
traditions and lore with them. Soon Highland Games were being
staged all over the United States. Dunedin joined the ranks of this
prestigious group in 1966. Today the festival has grown to include
the Florida Open Dance Championship, the Hiram Walker Florida Pipe
Band Championship, and the U.S. National Masters Athletic
Competition attracting athletes from all over the United
The Dunedin festival feature competitions in piping,
dancing, drumming, and in "tests of strength" games, which include
caber tossing, weight throwing, hammer throwing, and shot putting.
Winners go on to compete at state, regional, national and
international games. World championships are held in Scotland. A
military tattoo, which includes several pipe bands from the local
schools, is also part of the festivities, as well as Scottish
storytelling and sheepdog demonstrations.
Documentation includes articles, two games and
festival programs, and slides.
Originally submitted by: Michael Bilirakis, Representative (9th District).
The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.