Northwoods Experience: Crosby Hosts Highland Games to Celebrate Annual Heritage Days
For years, the Crosby community has had a chance to see incredible feats of strength from athletes all across the Midwest at the annual Highland Games.
“The Highland Games are the modern equivalent of what you see at the Highland Gatherings. These are the heavy events which were to find the strongest members of the clans,” explained Highland Games athletic director Alan Booth. “So we do a bunch of different weighted events for distance, for height and for accuracy.”
All the events featured serve as tests of strength, with many seeing athletes pushing their physical limits.
“There’s two weight for distance events, which is weight on a chain, we throw weights over a bar with one hand, we throw a burlap bag with a pitchfork over a high bar, that’s called the sheaf,” said Men’s Master Thrower Tim Tahoma. “We’ve got two stone events which are similar to the shot put, and we’ve got two hammer events which are similar to the Olympic hammer and then the event that everybody knows, flipping the telephone pole, the caber toss.”
Every year, Crosby’s Highland Games seem to be growing, as this year saw over 20 athletes competing.
“It’s one of the biggest groups we’ve ever had here in Crosby,” said Booth.
“Everyone supports each other, cheers for each other, even if you want to beat each other, you’re still going to clap and it’s just second to none,” said Women’s Master Thrower Juli Peterson.
While the games have become a space for the athletes to compete, it’s also become an event enjoyed by the Crosby community as a whole.
“It’s good to see people interested in it because this is ancient athletics, this has been around for a thousand years,” said Tahoma.
“We love the crowd, love the kids. We want to see it, you know, here is what we do and hopefully inspire others to join us next year,” added Peterson.
Crosby’s Highland Games are put on by the MINN-KOTA Highland Athletics Association, which has athletes that compete all across the state of Minnesota.