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Highland Games bring Scotland to the Plateau

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The 62nd annual Pacific Northwest Scottish Highland Games and Clan Gathering rolls into the city of Enumclaw's Expo Center July 26 and 27.

These Highland Games, hosted by the Seattle Scottish Highland Games Association, are the sixth oldest in the United States and the largest, 2007 attendance was 30,000, in Washington state.

Participants will be amazed by the titans who deftly toss the caber or put the stone, delight in the soothing sound of the Celtic harpist, thrill in the bourdon of the bagpipes and the cadence of the drums and behold the grace and elegance of the Scottish dancers.

Other performers include Scottish balladeer Alex Beaton, traditional Scottish folk artist Ed Miller, the loud and boisterous Wicked Tinkers, the upbeat Highland Way, the Celtic rock of Tempest and the multi-talented Blackthorn.

Visitors can stroll through the Avenue of the Clans and the Glen of the Clans and delve into Scottish ancestry and heritage or wind through the Hall of Vendors and the Celtic Marketplace to see the workmanship of Scottish artisans.

Don't forget to wander through the Scottish farm with shaggy Scotch Highland cattle and Clydesdale horses or the Celtic Kennel and plan to attend the Ceilidh, a traditional Scottish party with music, sing-along, stories and Scottish country dancing Saturday evening.

Gates are open from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 for adults per day or a two-day pass is available for $22. Lower prices are available to senior citizens, children and active military.

For information call 206-522-2541 or visit the Web site at www.sshga.org

New to the event this year is the Single Malt Scotch Whisky Tasting, an opportunity to attend a program dedicated to the understanding and enjoyment of one of Scotland's finest exports.

The event is scheduled for 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. July 26 and July 27 and 2 to 4 p.m. July 26 and 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. July 27.

Participants will discover the mythology, history and science surrounding the "Water of Life." From learning the "language of tasting" to discussing individual tasting experiences.

The event is divided into two-hour sessions. Each session is limited to 40 participants.Tickets are $35 per session, available at the Whisky Tasting Tent to those 21 and older. Proceeds benefit the Seattle Scottish Highland Games Association.

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