Mint Hill Highland Games returns

Annual festival offers free admission this year

by Kara Lopp

If you’ve never been to the Mint Hill Highland Games this would be the year to go: It’s free!

The eighth annual festival, organized by the Mint Hill Scottish Society, boasts free admission this year thanks to festival sponsors, organizer Donna Rogers said. The festival at the Park on Fairview, 8850 Fairview Road, runs Friday, May 4 from 6 to 10 p.m. and Saturday, May 5 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Pets or alcohol aren’t allowed.

“Free admission is something that’s been a long-range goal for us,” Rogers said. “With the economy being what it is and gas prices what they are, we think it’s a perfect time.”

Rugby exhibition games, border collie demonstrations, Scottish merchandise and food and, of course, athletic competitions for kids and adults are back this year, including a new Celtic vendor from Canada. Attendees also will find the return of Steve Hughes and his falcons and goshawks birds of prey.

But one of the highlights for this year will be found in the entertainment pavilion. Ohio-based the Maidens IV will perform both days, giving area residents a glimpse at this popular Carolina Renaissance Festival sister act.

“They’re personable, have good audience interaction and are great for children,” Rogers said of the act organizers first saw at the Renaissance festival. The sisters also will perform for students at Queen’s Grant Community School before the games start Friday.

Rogers hopes the festival’s free admission will draw in new people eager to explore Scottish history and culture.

“I just hope to get some folks that we’ve not had before,” she said. “It’s a great family-friendly event, but maybe the admission cost has kept people away. If you haven’t been, come on and check it out. You have nothing to lose.”

For more information and a complete schedule of events, visit

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