Scottish Highland Games are moving


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The Alaskan Scottish Club has been presenting the Alaskan Scottish Highland Games for the past 32 years, and most of those Games have been held at Eagle River Lions Club Park. Early games were held on the first Saturday in August. In later years the games were switched to the last Saturday in June. In some of the middle years, dates floated around a bit so as not to conflict with Elmendorf AFB Air Shows. Two years, 1995 and 1996, the games were held in Anchorage. Now, after a long and successful run in Eagle River, the games are moving to the Alaska State Fairgrounds in Palmer. The games have simply outgrown the Lions facility on Eagle River Rd.

In recent years Lions Club Park has added underground sprinkler systems and fencing to the upper softball fields and football fields. The games used to be held on the upper softball fields but have not been allowed to return there since Knik Little League made field improvements. Likewise, use of the Pop Warner Football fields has not been allowed. Eagle River Lions Club has not found a way to utilize those upper fields for multi-use, and they have become treated as single use areas developed by those two organizations.

The Highland Games were moved to the lower softball field and expanded to the track and field area of Gruening Middle School. This worked for a couple of years but the space was still inadequate and resulted in a disjointed feeling. Also, parking space at the park has been woefully inadequate for the games for several years. For many years games participation held between 2000 and 3500 attendees, and Lions Park served our needs nicely. However, from 2009 through 2013 attendance mushroomed from 5,000 to over 10,000 attendees last year. Without being allowed to move back to the upper fields, and in light of parking inadequacies, it is with some reluctance and much regret that the Alaska Scottish Club is moving to larger facilities in Palmer.

Many of us involved with the games are Eagle River residents. I’ve lived in Eagle River and have been involved with the games for all of those 32 years. It is wonderful to have had such an event as part of my local community. So, I am saddened to see the games move farther from home, but at least they will still be close by in a neighboring community. I’ll now make my local games trek out to the Valley. Hopefully those of you in Eagle River who have attended the games in past years will make that same short trip along with me.

On behalf of the Alaskan Scottish Club, I say thank you to Eagle River for all the fantastic memories. We truly appreciate all the support over the many years from the local community, Eagle River Lions and the Chugiak-Eagle River Star.

Please remember that we are not moving that far down the road, and we hope to see you at all our future events.

 

— Tim Kincaid

Athletic Director, Alaskan Scottish Highland Games

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