All things Scottish to hold forth in Athena this weekend



Barely containing their excitement, brothers Matthew, 8, and Geoffrey Robinson, 9, eagerly anticipate the medals presentation for the Highland Dance competition during Athena Caledonian Games in July 2010

ATHENA - A figure out of legend will be featured during the Athena Caledonian Games July 13-15.

Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland from 1309-1326, "had become discouraged and gained inspiration from a spider that tried over and over to make its web until successful," event chairwoman Sue Friese said in a news release.

"He was inspired and determined to free Scotland. Determination of this kind is what makes a legend."

Displays in Athena's City Park will describe Bruce's story and his determination to bring independent rule to his countrymen.

Organizers intend to re-create old legends by teaching youngsters about famous Scots and their stories, Friese said.

The tradition of these games in the Oregon town date to the 1899 Constitution of the Caledonian Society of Umatilla County, which aimed to preserve and perpetuate Scottish social manners and customs and spotlight the city of Athena and its heritage.

Don Duncan of Athena reinstituted the tradition during the nation's bicentennial year of celebrations in 1976.

"The centennial year of 1999 was a great year for the Caledonian Games. Athena's friendly tradition is still extended since 100 years ago," according to the website.

Those attending are invited to don kilts or dresses for summer and enjoy the City Park, competition, music, Highland dancing, piping and stories, Friese said.

The annual Scottish heritage festival is a gathering for bagpipers, clans, competitors, storytelling, vendors, food and entertainment. The 2012 Chieftains of the Day are Delbert Durfee and Wilma Trout.

This year, all interested in participating in the athletic competitions must pay an entry fee of $25. Participants will receive a commemorative T-shirt.

Events will be divided into seven categories, based on sex and age. All athletic events are sanctioned by the Scottish American Athletic Association.

For those interested in family ties, several clans will host tents in the park with historical data.

In addition there will be storytelling, games for children and musical entertainment in the park.

Saturday will conclude with a bagpipe concert called a Tattoo, featuring pipe bands marching on the field.

Sunday will feature an outdoor church service, a Scottish quilt show and music.

For more information, contact Friese at 541-566-3880 or .


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