With an updated name and a higher-capacity location in 2018, the 3rd Annual Saltwater Highland Games is bringing its familiar Celtic flavor and charm - not to mention a Scottish-tinged spirit of competition and a unique set of Highlands-themed sporting challenges - back to the Grand Strand March 23-25.
The event, formerly known as the Myrtle Beach Highland Games, has developed a strong and far-reaching following after two successful years at The Market Common in Myrtle Beach, last year drawing visitors from 26 states and five countries. But with additional space needed this year thanks to added elements and activities, the growing Saltwater Highland Games will now move to the North Myrtle Beach Park & Sports Complex.
The Saltwater Highland Games are best known for their unique, Scottish-themed athletic challenges. Among the traditional Highland Games competitions being staged during the event:
Open Stone Put - Reminiscent of the shot-put competition seen in the summer Olympic Games, this event sees participants throw a 16- to 22-pound stone in an attempt to cover the greatest distance with their toss. The event is called “Open” because any style of throw is allowed, with the spin and glide styles favored by most competitors.
Braemar Stone Put - This throwing competition uses a larger, 22- to 28-pound stone and requires that it be thrown from a standing position.
56 lb Weight for Distance - In this event, competitors throw a 56-pound, spherical or block-shaped weight that is attached via links to a handle.
Hammer Throw - Participants in this event stand with their backs to the target area, then launch a 16- or 22-pound hammer - outfitted with a bamboo or rattan handle and a lead or steel head - over their shoulders, attempting to record the greatest distance thrown.
Caber Toss - Competitors in this event toss a trimmed-down, 16- to 22-foot tree that varies in weight from 100 to 180 pounds. One end of the caber has been rounded and is slightly slimmer than the other for an easier grip during the throw. The goal of the toss is to flip the caber over and have the narrow end land as close as possible to the 12 o’clock position directly in front of the thrower, with the participant achieving the smallest angle declared the winner.
Sheaf Toss - In this event, competitors use a pitchfork to toss a 16- or 20-pound burlap or plastic sack stuffed with rope, straw or mulch over a crossbar of varying heights.
Weight for Height - This competition sees participants use one hand to toss weights of 28 and 56 pounds over a crossbar.
While the athletic events may be the top draw, they are far from the only reason to attend the Saltwater Highland Games. Other attractions include a Kids Glen where the young ones can get in on the sporting action, live entertainment from Celtic musicians and bagpipe bands from throughout the Southeast, “Tour of the Land” whisky tastings featuring an array of Scotches from the different regions of Scotland, and even a Coastal Carolina University-hosted Quiddich tournament. Further, vendors selling an array of food, souvenirs and beverages will offer additional Scottish and Celtic flavor to interested attendees.=
Bringing an authentic taste of Celtic culture in the Myrtle Beach area, the 3rd Annual Saltwater Highland Games is fast becoming one of the premier annual festivals on the Grand Strand. Get your clan together for a great long weekend at the games, and book your stay at Dayton House Resort on the Myrtle Beach oceanfront for easy access to both the events and our wide-ranging amenities during your getaway.