CALIFORNIA FOCUS / World Champions to Compete at Queen Mary’s
25th Annual ScotsFestival & International Highland Games XXV Feb. 17-18
Scottish Bands, Whisky Tastings, Unveiling of Long Beach’s Official Tartan,
NEW Pop-up Greyfriar’s Pub, NEW Birds of Prey Show, Wee Athletics and More
LONG BEACH, Calif., (January 31, 2018) – The Queen Mary welcomes back the celebration of true Scottish heritage with the 25th annual ScotsFestival & International Highland Games XXV February 17-18. Hailing its silver anniversary, ScotsFestival will welcome internationally acclaimed athletes traveling to the Queen Mary to compete for titles in such events as the stones, hammer throw, weights for distance, weight over bar, sheaf and the famed caber toss in the Scottish Highland Games. "I’m excited to compete in America again,” said Kengo Kubato (Fukushima, Japan), one of Japan’s long-reigning heavy event champions. Competing for over 10 years, Kubato has defended his title against westerners and recently placed 1st in his division in Norway and France. Kubato states, “I’m eager to meet new rivals, test my limits, and it's always a thrill to compete against current and ex-world champions." The Scottish Highland Games, a pre-cursor to today’s Olympic Games, was designed to test the strength, skill and technique of ancient warriors. Felicia Baker, current world record holder of women’s lightweight heavy hammer, looks forward to returning to the Queen Mary’s ScotsFestival and International Highland Games for her 6th season. “We're a huge family built of men, women, short, tall and everything in between that have one thing in common: we're here to throw and put on a show for the crowd.” The 25th annual ScotsFestival will offer a full weekend of rich Scottish tradition highlighted through authentic activities, dancing, entertainment, cuisine and athletics. Whisky tasting sessions with aged malt experts are available for adult festival goers ($18 pre-sale) and Chef McBride will demo authentic Celtic Cuisine in the Culinary Corner. In addition to cooking demos, multiple exciting and authentic food vendors will offer delectable bites sure to tantalize taste buds of all ages. Scotland’s award-winning George Watson's College Pipes and Drums will be among the many live entertainment and bands performing at the festival and will pay homage to the Queen Mary with a traditional band showcase. The wee laddies and lassies can bear witness to Queen Mary’s knighting and coronation ceremonies, and even take part in the Wee Highland Games including youth competitions in caber toss, archery, potato sack races and tug o’ war. Kick off ScotsFestival weekend on Friday, February 16 and keep cozy into the wee hours of the night at the all-new pop-up pub, Greyfriar’s Pub, with authentic food, a full bar, and a lively atmosphere. After a full day of events, continue the fun into the night from 6 p.m. – 1 a.m. with the Ceilidh on Saturday, February 17. Grab a pint and experience the traditional clans’ celebration with games, live music, food, drinks, dancing, and more. Tickets to the Ceilidh are $10 online and the event is open to all ages. Sport Kilt, in partnership with Long Beach-based design firm Commune Communication, will unveil the officially designated Long Beach Tartan at the 25th Annual ScotsFestival. The colors and pattern featured in the Long Beach Tartan pay homage to the city seal and are representative of the virtues of the city. Tickets to the 25th Annual ScotsFestival and International Highlands Games are on sale now and start at $25 online (ages 12+) and $12 online (ages 4-11) for one day general admission. VIP tickets start at $45 online and includes VIP entry, access to shaded VIP Lounge, (1) drink ticket, and access to Ceilidh. Upgrades, ticket add-ons, and hotel packages will also be available. Discounts are available to military and seniors. Visit http://queenmary.com/events/scotsfestival/ for more details and to purchase tickets online.