- Associated Press - Saturday, September 19, 2015

LINCOLN, N.H. (AP) - The 40th annual New Hampshire Highland Games and Festival is filling Loon Mountain with traditional dance, music and athletic competitions.

More than 60 clans are wearing their tartans as the Scottish festival continues with chock-full schedules Saturday and Sunday.

Scotland’s cultural heritage is captured in living history encampments and the so-called Scottish heavy athletics involving hurling heavy objects, among other things.

Music competitions are will be held for players of bagpipes, harp, fiddle and drums and there are Highland dance competitions as well.

No Highlands festival would be complete without whiskey tastings and seminars on genealogy, Highlands dress and cooking and Celtic knot work.

“By any measure, the New Hampshire Highland Games & Festival is more than an annual event: It’s a tradition that has closed the gap between the Highlands to the White Mountains for 40 years,” said Jeffrey Rose, commissioner of the New Hampshire Department of Resources and Economic Development.

Rose said the festival is about more than Scottish culture, however.

“It is also about the enduring ties found within its clans and the tens of thousands of people who, over the years, have made their way to New Hampshire to carry on the traditions of their culture,” he said.

The festival has grown by leaps and bounds. The first festival 40 years ago featured three bands in the piping competition; this year there are 35.

The festival is organized by the New Hampshire Gathering of the Scottish Clans.

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