Mark the calendar; the Scottish Games will be coming to Escalon on Oct. 12 and 13, 2019.
That’s a little less than seven months away and Dave McIntosh, president of the Escalon Scottish Cultural Association, ESCA, couldn’t be happier with the fact that the group will get to host them.
He is from Escalon and said the organization will put on the two-day games at Hogan-Ennis Park, and will draw competitors from around California.
The formal approval for the games to be staged here was given by members of the Escalon City Council earlier this month. By the time the games arrive, it will have been roughly a two-year effort to bring them to the community, said McIntosh, as the ESCA was formed in November of 2017 with an eye toward hosting this type of event.
Hours will be 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, Saturday and Sunday, and the games will include traditional Scottish events such as the hammer throw, a weight over bar event, weight for distance, the caber toss and more.
“It’s a heavy athletics competition,” McIntosh explained, anticipating a high caliber of athlete to attend.
In fact, the Escalon games will be one in a series of competitions up and down the state, part of a circuit of Scottish Games.
“Whatever money we collect, we’ll use a portion for seed money for the next year,” McIntosh said. “The rest goes to Hogan-Ennis Park, there’s a special account set up for that.”
That money will help with ongoing expansion and improvement efforts at the park along Escalon Avenue.
“We’ll be the last event in northern California; the events start in Bakersfield and go to the California-Oregon line.”
The Bakersfield competition is scheduled to start this week, on March 22; other events will follow in Woodland, Redding, Monterey, Pleasanton, Dixon and finally Escalon.
McIntosh said ESCA has also partnered with the local EscalonFIT to offer classes to locals who want to join a novice competition version of the games; information is available at the local fitness center on Main Street.
“We will also have food booths, we have spaces for 10 or 15 food vendors, we will have 35 trinket vendors, we have five pipe and drum bands committed to being here,” McIntosh noted.
There will be whiskey tastings, beer booths and more than two dozen Scottish clans are expected to attend.
Costumed re-enactors will roam the park grounds throughout the weekend, with Vikings and Romans on hand.
The community will see a large influx of people for the weekend, McIntosh said, with RV and tent camping in certain areas, and parking at multiple spots, working in cooperation with community groups for fundraising.
“It’s an event that will be bigger than Park Fete,” he said. “It’s going to benefit us all.”
Look for periodic updates on planning for the event in future issues of The Times, leading up to the October 2019 festivities.
You can also email McIntosh at email@example.com for more information.