PANAMA CITY - Get your kilts ready - the 22nd annual Scottish Festival is this weekend. The annual Highland Games are a big part of the event.
The highland games are the modern continuation of an ancient Celtic tradition
"At the panama city highland games we're gonna have several events, we have the stone of strength, we have a twenty-eight pound weight for distance, we have a fifty-six pound weight for distance, we also throw that event for height too," said Jon McClain, Director of Panama City's Highland Games. "We also have a twenty-two pound heavy-hammer throw and we also have a sheaf toss which we throw a sixteen pound burlap sack for a height that goes as high as thirty-plus feet."
One event stands above all the others at the games.
"And the highlight of the day which be at lunchtime on Saturday will be the caber event, which is where we toss the caber which is Gaelic for tree, and we throw anywhere from a hundred pound tree to a hundred and thirty pound tree," said McClain.
Being a highland athlete and tossing trees requires a lot of strength but there is more to it.
"Everybody thinks this is a strength event - it is strength, but there are techniques to it. You have to be able to spin with the weights, and you also have to have to throw these one-handed. None of these events are thrown two-handed except for the caber," said McClain.
And what about that signature athletic wear for the highland games?
"You are required to wear a kilt for most of the athletes."
Which brings up the question...What do they wear under those kilts?
"That's a secret...Ha ha ha..."
The Scottish Festival and Highland Games are Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Grace Presbyterian Church in Panama City.