Alma Highland Festival & Games

Alma Highland Festival & Games Join us Saturday and Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend for Scottish dance, music, food, entertainment, athletics, vendors, Scottish clans, and more!
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The festival is located on the Alma College campus in Alma, Michigan. Each year the festival brings thousands of visitors the very best of Scottish tradition. The festival combines great competition with Scottish hospitality. The festival is HOME TO the following REGIONAL COMPETITIONS: -GREAT LAKES SCOTTISH HEAVYWEIGHT ATHLETIC COMPETITION (Professional/Amateur) -GREAT LAKES HIGHLAND DANCE CHAMPIONSHIP (Open/Closed) -U.S. OPEN PIPE BAND CHAMPIONSHIP SUPREME Watch dozens of world class pipers and drummers playing at once in a massed band performance. Find out about your heritage and hear about Scottish traditions at our many CLAN TENTS. Check out the ENTERTAINMENT TENT, featuring live professional entertainment and cold beer on tap. Or take a 5K or 10 K lap, 5K Walk or Kids Fun Run of Scotland USA in the Saturday morning SERIES OF RACES before the 10:30 am STREET PARADE rolls through town. There is much, much more. But don't just take our word for it. Stop by and see for yourself the SATURDAY & SUNDAY OF MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND!!! Céad Míle Fáilte from Alma - Scotland USA!

Operating as usual

07/23/2020

Reposting as the date is approaching:

The Alma Indoor Highland Dance Competition, scheduled for November 7, is cancelled. The health and safety of all participants is at the forefront of this decision and we look forward to seeing you at the 2021 Alma Highland Festival in May!

06/26/2020

Today we want to wish a Happy Birthday to our Office Administrator, Marcel Marie Martinez! Her hard work behind the scenes helps keep our organization on track and holds us together in great ways! We appreciate her and her willingness to take on anything asked of her! Please join us in wishing Marcel the happiest of birthdays!

05/25/2020

The weekend was so busy going from post to post that we failed to remember an all important part of our Sunday events: the Amateur Athletics. "Amateur" only in the event name, these men are strong, growing in their Highland abilities and astonish us with their hard work. Any pics of Athletics from Games past? Share below!

05/24/2020

For 2020, right now, unbeknownst to many visitors, the Midwest Regional Highland Dance Reps and their families would be gathering to celebrate their hard work and successes. Every year, the dancers who have earned a rep spot gather to be recognized and receive information about competing at the United States national Championship held in July. Earning a rep spot is a dream come true for dancers, and is something they will never forget.
Like many festivals and events scheduled for 2020, highland dancing competitions have been cancelled, including the Regional, National and World Championships. While dancers are disappointed, they are strong and determined to come back next year better than ever. We miss you this year dancers, and we can't wait to see you in 2021!

05/24/2020

For 2020, right now visitors, bands, and Festival folk alike would be gathering in the stadium of Alma College one last time for Closing Ceremonies.

Awards would be presented to Athletes, a congratulatory send off to the Highland Dancers who qualified for USIR would happen, and a Massed Bands performance is heard before band awards are given. And then a closing remark from our Master of Ceremonies to mark the end of a great weekend. The sun starts to dip below the visitor bleachers and the trophy winning bands march off the field to celebrate. And then the magic of the weekend is done.

We gathered the way we would for this year by remembering Festivals of years past. We are grateful for your support in this virtual tour. We are already looking forward to next year's festivities. This marks our Closing Ceremonies for 2020.

Cheers always to the Alma Highland Festival and to Scotland, USA!

05/24/2020

For 2020, right now an end cap for our Entertainment Tent set would be an encore performance from CrossBow.

CrossBow has been an awesome addition to our entertainment line up. Be sure to check out this performance and show them some love on their Youtube channel: https://youtu.be/6rxQpK42U2k

05/24/2020

For 2020, right now the Entertainment Tent's stage would be full of fun with Chelsea House Orchestra. We never get enough of this high energy group and are always grateful for them sharing their talents with us throughout the weekend!

Here is a fun throwback. https://youtu.be/jkhTH320hJU

05/24/2020

For 2020, right now visitors would have been watching as the Great Lakes Closed Championship began. This Championship is the qualifier for the 8 states of the Midwest Region. Highland Dancers from across the region would have been vying for a place to go to the United States Inter-Regional Championship, the national highland dance championship for the United States. The dancers would have performed the four traditional highland dances: Highland Fling, Sword Dance, Seann Triubhas and Strathspey and Highland Reel. Dancers train and practice for months to earn a spot as a Midwest Representative. Share photos of your past regionals in the comments below!

05/24/2020

For 2020, the MWPBA would be back in action judging the Grades 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 bands present at AHF. The circle would be showcasing tight steps, sharp drum beats, and unified pipe drones. Have photos of circles past? Share them in the comments below!

05/24/2020

For 2020, right now a new band, Brother Crowe, would be stepping on the stage in the Entertainment Tent.

Hailing from Detroit—and damn proud of it—Brother Crowe has hammered through over 100 shows in a year, sometimes playing three gigs in a day. But now is their time to shine. The band consists of two brothers, Derek (vocals/harmonica/bodhran) and Paul (guitars/banjo/vocals). Brother Crowe’s purpose, is honing in on a New Indie Folk/Bluegrass sound that still possesses a somewhat
traditional Celtic style.

We hope to see this great band in 2021. Give them some support by checking out their music: https://youtu.be/dGQf15OKPgM

05/24/2020

For 2020, our Entertainment Tent would have continued to be a source of shade, songs and sips of ales. Our partnership with Alma Brewing Co would have allowed us to pour you a favorite pint of Freedom! Although we can't cheers together in person, we encourage you to grab a growler Downtown Alma and get yourself your favorite ale.

05/24/2020

For 2020, right now the Kirking of the Tartan Service would have been beginning. This service offers blessing to the clans and tartans represented. Post your tartan below and know that we are asking for blessings for you and your Clan this year and forward.

Want to see what a Kirking of the Tartan is all about? Visit this link: https://clan.com/blog/kirking-the-tartan

05/24/2020

For 2020, right now the Pre-Premier Competition would have been beginning. This is a highlight to any dancer as they begin their experience with the Highland Dance world. Dancers would be competing for medals, trophies and other special awards and would have ranged in age from 4 years old to young adult. Do you remember your first Alma Highland Festival Dance Competition? Any pictures of your wee dancer or you from your dance days? Add to the comments!

This is absolutely adorable. Thank you for helping us celebrate from afar!
05/24/2020

This is absolutely adorable. Thank you for helping us celebrate from afar!

Check out this amazing Highland Games that Hannah held today in honor of the Alma Highland Festival & Games! So much fun!!

05/24/2020

For 2020, right now we would have welcomed Tallon Weatherby Band to the stage in the Entertainment Tent.

We were pretty excited to have Tallon Weatherby join the line up this year. Tallon is crazy talented and we can't wait for him to hit the stage next year. Give him a shout out and check out his music: https://youtu.be/pt0B_9KSo3A

05/23/2020

For 2020, the Entertainment Tent would be graced by the presence of CrossBow.

This band is a crowd favorite. They are fun, talented and they love Alma. Steve Lesko and his crew are some of the best around. More than just incredible musicians they are incredible people. We will for sure miss them this year. Check out this encouraging video and show them some love! https://youtu.be/vfOYsdQqJ6k

05/23/2020
Amazing Grace - Closing Ceremonies

For 2020, right now our first day's events would have been coming to a close. Our guests would be gathering for Massed Bands, athletic trophies presented, and pipe band awards. A Festival favorite is when Massed Bands play "Amazing Grace," so enjoy a small taste of this incredible sound.

05/23/2020

For 2020, right now visitors would be enjoying the sights and sounds of all things Scottish. They could visit the highland cattle or watch the border collies work. They could enjoy the sounds of Colin Grant Adams. They could reminisce the days of old with the Reenactment Regiment. There are so many other events happening over the weekend. What are some of your favorites? Share in the comments below!

05/23/2020

For 2020, young visitors of Scotland, USA, would be enjoying the Children's Games on the lawn of the Heritage Center. Toss a caber, make a shield, or take a ride on ol' Nessie the Loch Ness Monster, lads and lassies enjoy the activities. We miss sharing these experiences with you, but look forward to next year's event! Have pics of Children's Games of years past? Please share below!

05/23/2020

For 2020, right now visitors would have been able to enjoy the Entertainment Tent and the site and sounds of a Festival favorite: Chelsea House Orchestra.

More than a favorite, CHO has become a part of the Festival Family. We aren’t sure we could host a Festival without these friends. You won't find a better group of students to work with. If you haven't heard this talented group, you are missing out. Give them a listen and show them your support! Until next year, CHO! https://youtu.be/-lr0CKPGTLQ

05/23/2020
Caber Toss Video

For 2020, right about now the Caber Toss would be about to begin for the Highland Athletics. Harder than it looks, this takes incredible strength and balance.

05/23/2020

For 2020, right now our Great Lakes Open Premiership would have been beginning for Premier-level Highland Dancers from the United States and Canada. You would have been watching the Irish Jig, Flora MacDonald's Fancy, Highland Laddie and Village Maid dances. Have a photo of your dancer from AHF of years past? Drop them in the comments below!

05/23/2020

For 2020, right now MWPBA would have a tough job to do in judging the Piping and Drumming Competition for Grades 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5. The circle isn't drawn this year, but feel free to showcase videos and photos of circles at past AHFs in the comments below!

05/23/2020

For 2020, right now visitors would be enjoying the sounds of The Founding.

When we added this group to our line up we knew they were good but we had know idea how good. From vocals, keys, and strings their sound is some of the best we've found. Although we won't be graced by their sound we do have one request...From our family to yours please keep making music, the world is better if you do. Show them some love: https://youtu.be/fKRVyt1tCjg

For 2020, right now visitors would have been welcomed to the 53rd annual Alma Highland Festival and Games at our Opening...
05/23/2020

For 2020, right now visitors would have been welcomed to the 53rd annual Alma Highland Festival and Games at our Opening Ceremonies. Here is where Massed Bands gather, welcomes are made by our Master of Ceremonies and Festival President, Clans host a Parade of Tartans, and the Festival is truly open to be enjoyed. Look at this photo album of Opening Ceremonies of years past. Add your own photos below!

An annual pic of Exec Board and some committee members, social distanced-style.
05/23/2020

An annual pic of Exec Board and some committee members, social distanced-style.

05/23/2020

For 2020, right now Clan Row would be all set and ready to invite you in to celebrate Scottish culture and family heritages. We are always grateful for the Clans and what they bring to the Festival. Their knowledge and pride of the Scottish culture is evident in how they showcase their history in their tents. Have photos of tents from Alma Highland Festivals in the past? Share them below!

For 2020, our Street Parade would be just about stepping off at 10:30AM. Visitors would be lined alone the parade route ...
05/23/2020

For 2020, our Street Parade would be just about stepping off at 10:30AM. Visitors would be lined alone the parade route all along Downtown Alma to the campus of Alma College.

Want a small taste of Scottish sounds and sights? Join us as we go LIVE at 10:29AM this morning as a nod to our parade stepping off and listen and see a bit of Scotland, USA!

Photos of past parade lineup and step off are below. Have other Parade photos to add? Please share them in the comments!

05/23/2020

For 2020, right now our Great Lakes Open Championship would have been beginning for Premier-level Highland Dancers from the United States and Canada. You would have been watching Highland Fling, Sword Dance, Seann Triubhas and Strathspey and Highland Reel dances. Have a photo of your dancer from AHF of years past? Drop them in the comments below!

For 2020, right now you would have been able to begin to watch as Professional Highland Athletes compete in all things S...
05/23/2020

For 2020, right now you would have been able to begin to watch as Professional Highland Athletes compete in all things Scottish. Our Great Lakes Scottish Heavyweight event is always great to watch as athletes showcase their strength and hard work. Take a look through the photos of events of AHFs past--and feel free to add photos of your own to the comments below!

A partnership that rings true of how our community works together—Alma Police Department, we are grateful for your servi...
05/23/2020

A partnership that rings true of how our community works together—Alma Police Department, we are grateful for your service to help make Alma Highland Festival successful!

It has always been our pleasure to asssit with traffic control, cheer for the runners and help with directions.
Sharing some photos from past parades reminds us that our community is amazing and we will get through this together.

05/23/2020

For 2020, right now we would have been preparing for, "On your mark. Get set. Go!" for our littlest racers! The Kids Fun Run is always a great time! Add your little ones' photos to the comments below from years past!

05/23/2020

For 2020, right now we would have begun to hear the drone of the pipes and the beat of the drums as the Solo Competitions start. Any competitors have advice for other pipers or drummers seeking solo competition experience? What's your favorite part of Solo Competition at AHF? Drop it in the comments below!

05/22/2020

For 2020, right now we would have opened the Entertainment Tent and been preparing to be rocking the night away with Jedi Mind Trip. Danny Ardouin and his crew never disappoint and they were a festival favorite.

For many this night was a reunion, the gathering of friends and years gone by. Next year should be quite the gathering! In the meantime, any requests for Jedi to consider for next year's set list? Add them to the comments below! And while you’re at it, raise a glass and make a toast to great things to come!

05/22/2020

For 2020, right now our Highland Dance Choreography Competition would have been beginning. This event allows dancers to mix traditional Highland movements with their own style set to Celtic music. Our dancers always astound and amaze us with their Highland abilities and when they add their creativity to the sport, it is a true art to behold. Feel free to add in the comments some of your own pics from other AHF choreography events!

Address

Campus Of Alma College - 614 West Superior St
Alma, MI
48801

N/A

General information

Always over Memorial Day weekend each year. Come celebrate all things Scottish with us! For tickets: http://bit.ly/2017AHFGtickets

Opening Hours

Friday 19:00 - 23:30
Saturday 07:00 - 00:00
Sunday 08:00 - 18:00

Telephone

(989) 463-8979

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Comments

I feel like I should have the Welsh Cookie booth set up in the corner somewhere, the dancers will all need their fix
It's still Alma Highland Festival weekend at Simmons Hide Manor. Can't let a little pandemic spoil a perfectly good tradition. Come on Frasers! Je suis' Prest! Time to put on the kilt!
With the piping season being cancelled, Glen Erin Pipe Band offers this virtual performance and looks forward to seeing everyone next year. We miss you.
This is truly a sad weekend for The UK Market and Welsh Cookie Co. Memorial Day weekend, or as its locally known in Alma, MI, Highland Festival Weekend (HFW in shorthand) is our Home Festival. The one where host our friends and family to drinks at our house, have our favorite Pizza for dinner, go to the ceilidh for live music, visit the local pub after the show; you know, really have a great time, regardless of the weather. All of our local friends stop by the house or the booth so we can catch up after a long winter on the road down south, and we set out plans for summer get togethers. Normally, I'd be helping to lay out the Vendor field and planting signs throughout the grounds, Friday would be time for setting up, an all day event as I stop to talk with every friend who stops by to check in. Saturday is the busy day, with the parade, 5k road run, Festival sales, Music, a few beers, dinner and repeat on Sunday. And, of course it leads to our anniversary on the 27th. We had to get married on the weekend of our local to share it with as many friends as possible. So you can see that it is a weekend and festival that will be sorely missed by Jeannette and I. Its just another festival to many, but to us its the real start of the summer and the big list of shows that runs through the fall. We hope that you're all staying safe and sane through this craziness and we hope to see you all again soon. Cheers, Michael and Jeannette www.thewelshcookieco.com www.ukmarketonline.com
Dublin Lawyer Chef McBride, IS the Godfather of Celtic Cuisine www.celticcaterer.com Celtic humor is quirky at best and not afraid to “take the Piss” (make fun) of themselves and especially anyone of the establishment. In the days of James I (VI), 2 Highland pipers were brought down to the London court from Scotland to perform for the King. Putting on “airs,” and were paid a Gold Sovereign for their services. This was more than either piper earned in a year. They promptly tipped the Master of Ceremony on their way out. “Saying they did not want such rewards going to their heads.” In Ireland, nearly every Irishman deems himself at the very least an amateur comedian, (But only while they are in the Pub). So, it is no wonder where this dish derived from. It has been a part of Irish Cooking for at least the last150 years. It is speculated that the name came from the view in which most of the common people regarded the Establishment, which in their eyes were all crooked Lawyers. It was a firm belief that lawyers, Politicians, Bankers were all overweight, drunk and filthy rich. So much so that they would only eat Lobster and drink Champaign all night. My apologies if you happen to be a Lawyer, but that is the legend. Serves 2-4 1- 2 lbs live Lobster ½ Cup of Whiskey 1 Cup of Heavy Whipping Cream ½ Cup Butter 1 tsp Celtic Caterer Double-wood smoke Fish and Seafood Rub 2 Lrg Shallots sliced 1 tsp white pepper 2 Cups white Rice cooked (optional) Step 1. Take the live lobster split it from the back of the head downward and then continue to the tail. Remove all of the tail meat cut it into large bite size cubes and set aside. Clean out the roe from the main body. Crack the claws and set that meat aside with the tail. Step 2. In a saucepan heat up half of the butter and sauté the shallots. Then add the whiskey and stir for a couple of minutes. Step 3. Add the cream and paprika and stir. Once mixed add all of the lobster meat set aside and allow to cook, do not boil. Step 4. Place lo bster shell halves on their sides on platter and drizzle the remaining melted butter over them. Spoon in the lobster cream mix so that it fills the lobster shells. Serve immediately. Step 5. (Optional) Before putting in the lobster cream mix, stuff the tails with the cooked white rice. NOTE: When making the sauce, if you want a very, very light flavor, use an Irish Whisky, however on this dish I would suggest an American Bourbon for best results. If you would like a smoky cream sauce, then use one of the Scotch’s from the Island of Islay, like Laphroig, Ardbeg, Lagavulin, or Highland Park. The peat of the whisky will add flavor to the sauce. THIS RECIPE AND MANY OTHERS ARE AVAILABLE IN BOOK II: RECIPES OF IRELAND. Chef Eric W. McBride is an Award-Winning Chef and Author of 6 Celtic Cookbooks, 10 Celtic Seasonings, and 5 Celtic Tea blends. He currently travels to nearly 40 festivals across the country teaching and demonstrating about Celtic Cuisine. You can get a copy of one of his cookbooks, and all your Essential Celtic Spices at: www.celticcaterer.com ALLWAYS FREE SHIPPING Chef McBride also performs a live Facebook Celtic Cooking Demonstration every Sunday evening at 6pm PST. You can go to: “The Celtic Caterer & Chef Eric W. McBride” https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=190584704313436&ref=br_rs
Sticky Toffee Pudding w/ Candied Bacon www.celticcaterer.com Traditionally “Pudding” in old Middle English word meaning roughly “Soft Foods.” Therefore you find everything from a cake to a buttery mousse to a meat dish all referred to as “pudding.” It is only modern gelatin companies that have subverted the conscious understanding of the word to mean only a mousse like dish. Originally you could find this dish from the South of Scotland, Eastern Ireland, Wales, Cornwall and elsewhere within the 8 Celtic Nations. (Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Manx, Cornwall, Britney, Galicia, Asturia), as well as the Lake district of Northern England. There are many variations of this dish that go back several centuries. According to the English, what is now known as Sticky Toffee came about in the 1970s, despite 19th century references in Dickens tails, Christmas carols and other literary works. There is a 19th Century version in Scotland and Ireland, where a sticky pudding was first made using Butterscotch, which is made from Butter, Scotch Whisky, and treacle laced sugar. Though this version originally used a type of cake, somewhere over the years the cake was forgotten and now the dish is just the Butterscotch layered with whip cream. As a Historical Chef I love mix traditional recipes with modern techniques or combinations. I had discovered several recipes that combined candied streaky bacon with Butterscotch, but these were never added to a Sticky toffee Pudding. If you have been to any of my many Cooking demonstrations all across the country and had a chance to try my version of a Sticky toffee pudding, you will find this combination a delightful blend of the traditional with modern, that really makes the day. The candied bacon is an excellent garnishment to the rich flavors of butterscotch and the super moist date cake. Just remember, its not REAL Butterscotch unless you actually use a little Scotch Whisky. Serves 4-6 1 ½ Cup All-purpose Flour 1 ½ Cups Pitted Dates, chopped 1 Cup Sugar 2 Eggs, large ½ Stick of Butter, room temp. 1 tsp Baking Soda 1 tsp Baking Powder 1 tsp Vanilla Extract ½ tsp Sea Salt Butterscotch Sauce 1 ¼ Cups Brown Sugar ½ Cup Heavy Cream ½ Stick of Butter 3 Tbs Scotch Whisky ½ tsp Vanilla Extract Candied Bacon 6 Strips of Streaky Bacon, chopped 3 Tbs Brown Sugar 1 Tbs Molasses Step 1. In a pot, bring 1 ¼ cups of water to a boil, then add in chopped dates. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in baking soda and let sit for 10 minutes Step 2. In a mixing bowl combine flour, baking powder, soften butter, sugar, vanilla. Step 3. Add 1 egg and half the date mix, beat mixture, then repeat. Step 4. Pour batter into a greased cake pan or Bundt pan. Bake at 350°F for 40-45 minutes. When finished allow to cool for 30 minutes on wired rack. Real Whisky Butterscotch Sauce: Step 1. In a saucepan, melt butter, then add brown sugar and cream. Step 2. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for 10 minutes, add in vanilla and whisky and continue to simmer at low boil while constantly stirring for 5 more minutes. Sauce will thicken but do not overcook. Pour over pudding and serve. THIS RECIPE AND MANY OTHERS ARE AVAILABLE IN THE BACON-CELTIC COOKBOOK. Chef Eric W. McBride is an Award-Winning Chef and Author of 6 Celtic Cookbooks, 10 Celtic Seasonings, and 5 Celtic Tea blends. He currently travels to nearly 40 festivals across the country teaching and demonstrating about Celtic Cuisine. You can get a copy of one of his cookbooks, and all your Essential Celtic Spices and Celtic Tea blends at: www.celticcaterer.com ALLWAYS FREE SHIPPING or check out our live Celtic Cooking Demonstrations every Sunday at 4 PM PST, 7 PM EST. on his page “The Celtic Caterer & Chef Eric W. McBride”
Dear friends, as we enter into the second month of this Pandemic, the the future basically on hold, our festival season looks pretty bleak. The last four weeks worth of events have cancelled and all upcoming events til mid June are either rescheduling, if possible, or cancelling as well. As a vendor, we at The Welsh Cookie Co are feeling the pinch, but we are not alone. The musicians, dancers, athletes, clans and even the festivals themselves are suffering through all of this. There have been some virtual, online festivals started, but they can't compare to the real thing. The same with streaming concerts. They can't replace real personal contact. I feel that Jeannette and I have true relationships with so many of our customers, friendships built over the last 20 years travelling to festivals across the country and we would hate to lose those if the events have trouble bouncing back. Please consider donating your time or energy or what you would have spent in entry to help keep our collective culture alive into the future. I know many vendors, like myself, have offered discounts for online orders and are hoping to serve our loyal fans in any way we can. Until we can w meet again, stay safe and be well. Cheers, Michael and Jeannette