BUTTE — The second annual Scottish Highland Games took place in Butte on Saturday afternoon with nearly 30 participants competing. Men and women competed in a total of nine events, ranging from the weight over bar (a one-handed backwards toss over a moving height) to the sheaf toss (a straw bundle toss over a moving height done with a pitchfork). The event encapsulates the Celtic heritage perfectly.
“Not only in Butte do we have a phenomenal background in Celtic society, but in Montana we do,” event organizer Maisie Walters said. “It’s fun to get some of these competitors out here, especially from other places than Butte, and bring them in and kind of give them a little bit of the taste of Butte Celtic, and also to let everyone in Butte know how many people are out there throwing these games and enjoying it. You can go out and see a ton of people in kilts. It kind of makes my heart happy.”
Competitors dealt with a true Scotland atmosphere, fighting through bouts of wind and rain throughout the day. Participants traveled across the country to compete, coming from places such as Idaho and Tennessee.
One of the competitors, Nate Cook, explained the technique of the weight for distance leightweight — an event where competitors throw a kettle bell hooked with chain weighing 28 pounds.
“You can do single-spin, you can double-spin,” Cook said. “It’s very much like a discus-style throw of an event, but at the same time you’re throwing a large ball and chain, so you’ve got to keep your counterbalance and power through it.”