Monterey Scottish Games & Celtic Festival - August 4th and 5th

51st Annual Monterey Scottish Games & Celtic Festival at the Monterey County Fair & Event Center to be held on August 4th and 5th, 2018

Bringing the Fascinating Culture of Scotland, Ireland and England to the Monterey Peninsula!

July 2018 Monterey, CA.   The 51st Annual Monterey Scottish Games & Celtic Festival at the Monterey County Fair & Event Center will be held on Saturday and Sunday, August 4th and 5th, 2018. 

At a Glance

What: 51st Annual Monterey Scottish Games & Celtic Festival 

When: Saturday, August 4 and 5, 2018 from 9:00 am – 6:00 p.m.

The detailed daily schedule will be posted closer to the Festival date on 

Where: Monterey County Fair & Event Center, 2004 Fairground Road, Monterey, CA 93940

What: This popular Celtic celebration brings the music, dance, food and athletic events of Scotland and Ireland to Monterey County. The Festival features fun activities for the whole family, including an array of games for the wee ones. 

Travel to Scotland, Ireland and England without leaving the Monterey Peninsula. Come out and celebrate Scottish culture, traditions, athletic competitions and entertainment.  

Enjoy delicious tastes of the British Isles including an array of meat pies from Heritage Meat Pies/Sunblest Foods (New! Jalapeno, Bacon, Mac and Cheese Pie, Mac and Cheese Pie, and Chicken Chili Verde Pie plus great favorites such as Steak and Mushroom Pie, Steak and Vegetables Pie, Shepherd's Pie, Lamb Curry Pie, and Sausage Rolls (see details below) plus British favorites from vendor Taste of Britain serving Fish and Chips, Corned Beef and Cabbage plus Kids Specials such as Chicken Tenders and Corn Dogs. New to the Festival this year is Murphys Mustard Company (“It’s Just Plain Sassy!”) Enjoy lots of sweet treats from Brown’s handmade English Toffee and Welsh Shortcakes. (See list below)

On both days, there will be the popular whisky tasting seminars. This year, two seminars will take place at both 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm and one seminar on Sunday at 2:30 pm for a separate fee of $30. Participants will learn much more about the long history of whisky, how it’s distilled, its many tasting characteristics of fine single malt whiskies. There will be lots of Guinness Beer and many other beverages as well.

The Monterey Scottish Games & Celtic Festival offers a variety of live Celtic entertainment with exciting massed pipe bands on parade, including many award-winning California-based pipe bands, thrilling Drum Major Competitions, talented Highland and Country dancers, special entertainers, athletes competing in the famous Caber Toss and more, dozens of clan tents, whisky tasting seminars, delicious Celtic food, great jewelry, swords, kilts, crafts and more, sheepdog and duck herding, forging demos, kids games and much more. In addition to traditional pipes and drums, dancing, and a variety of exciting athletic competitions, the Festival is a celebration full of demonstrations, performances and musical entertainment related to many fascinating aspects of Scottish and Gaelic culture.  

Research your own history by visiting the Avenue of the Clans featuring over two dozen very hospitable and informative clan booths.  A historical re-enactment portraying life in 16th century Scotland includes performers who entertain and educate attendees though the medium of living history. Historical reenactors, including Mary Queen of Scots and her beautifully costumed court, Sjorvaldar Vikings (new this year), Clan Galbraith, SCA (Society for Creative Anachronism). Vaden Forge (forging demos kids love) allow attendees to step back in history. Festival-goers will enjoy experiencing and learning more about the fascinating Celtic culture and their own heritage. 

Popular Irish singer/songwriter Seamus Kennedy, LA Fife and Drums will be returning to perform at the Festival. Cockswain, a high energy Celtic rock band and AnGry Brians, a band performing Celtic classics, will both make their debut at the Monterey event this year. (Note: Previously listed in press releases, Scott McDonald will not be joining us after all due to health challenges this year.) See bios below.

In addition to dozens of solo piping and drumming competitions, there will be WUSPBA-accredited competition pipe band performances from the Grade 4 bands: MacIntosh Band, Silicon Valley Band (formerly Stewart Tartan), Prince Charles Pipe Band, and the Grade 5 bands: Emerald Society, Silicon Valley Band and Irish Pipers of San Francisco. Another popular competition is the Drum Major Competition where drum majors toss their mace expertly high up in the air and catch it accompanied by a pipe band.

The two-day athletic competition features fan favorite events like Caber Toss, Hammer & Stone Throw, Weight for Distance & Height, and the Sheaf Toss.   Over two days, multiple classes, age groups, and even youth games showcase the best each athlete has to offer in endurance, strength, and skill. Scottish Heavy Athletics provide all athletic supervision and registration.


On Saturday evening, “A Piping Hot Dinner and Ceilidh Party” will be held again this year at Britannia Arms, 444 Alvarado St. in Monterey, with bagpipe performances by members of the award-winning Monterey Bay Pipe Band from 7 to 9 p.m. People who attend the festival that day can bring in their programs or ticket stubs to receive 20 percent off their dinners on Saturday, August 4th between 6:00 and 9:30 pm.

Festival Tickets: 

Advance Discount Presale Monterey Scottish Festival tickets are on sale at Tickets (regularly priced) will be available at the gate during both days of the Festival. 

Ticket Prices:

Adult One-Day - Presale [$15.00]  - At Gate [$20.00]

Senior (65+) One-Day - Presale [$12.00] - At Gate [$15.00]

Military One-Day - Presale [$12.00] - At Gate [$15.00]

Child (9-15) One Day - Presale [$12.00] - At Gate [$15.00]

Adult Two-Day - Presale [$20.00] - At Gate [$30.00]

Senior (65+) Two-Day - Presale [$15.00] - At Gate [$20.00]

Military Two-Day - Presale [$15.00] - At Gate [$20.00]

Child (9-15) Two-Day - Presale [$15.00] - At Gate [$20.00]

Children 8 & under free 

Here’s a glimpse of a past festival: 


The schedule will be posted soon at

For more information: or call 831-682-2022.   

Celtic Entertainers

Seamus Kennedy


Always popular at the Monterey Scottish Games &Celtic Festival! Originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland, has been entertaining audiences all over the United States for the past 32 years. With a ready wit and a vast store of songs, he travels from Alaska to Florida, performing for audiences ranging from Popes and presidents to bartenders and bricklayers, college students and kindergartners. 


LA Fifes and Drum

LA Fifes and Drum will perform and also roam and march throughout the weekend at the Festival. In 1905, the Old Soldiers Home in West Los Angeles established a fife and drum corps made up of veterans of the American Civil War. These men and women were members of the GAR (Grand Army of the Republic) A large veterans group formed following the Civil War. Photos and historic records of that original group can be found on our website in the “History” section.

In 2009, although none of the current members were a part of that original group, the Los Angeles Fifes and Drums was re-organized with the intent of carrying on the rich fife and drum tradition in Southern California.

The Los Angeles Fifes & Drums is an organization made up of professional level musicians located in the Greater Los Angeles Metropolitan Area. This group is fortunate to have members that have many years of experience on their particular instruments playing this style of music. If you have an interest in this kind of music and in learning to play it, please contact us as we are preparing classes for interested students of all ages.

The music played is traditional to the Revolutionary War period with some of the pieces taken from manuscripts penned during the time of the American Civil War. LAF&D is aware and respectful of the rich heritage of both of those eras, and endeavors to stay true to the works chosen from those turbulent times. The musicianship of the members allows them to compose and arrange some of their own pieces which add to the varied flavor of their performances.


Formed in 2011 Cockswain made their St. Patrick’s Day debut in 2012 and have been working on developing their own style that can only be described as high energy celtic rock with gypsy rhythms and punk rock attitude. The word “Cockswain” means “one who steers the ship”. To the band, lead singer Neil Ward put it like this: “It is more about being in charge of ones own destiny. Rebels. Stay true to themselves. Probably the most punk rock name ever really.”

AnGry Brians

The Angry Brian’s are a combination of musicians who came together from various other bands.  Their original songs and reinvented classics will burrow deep into your subconscious.  Hailing from County Kerne they travel all over the West coast seeking only a moment of your time to reconsider how you interpret the World of Music.  So if you are open minded grit your teeth for by the end of the day you will be an Angry Brian too.

The Children’s Glen hosts a number of activities for the little ones. Children of all ages can participate in downsized, mini athletic events (such as caber toss, pillow over the bar and braemar stone putt.) There are also a number of Celtic craft projects and the ever-popular Celtic Quest: hunting for various sites throughout the Festival and there is the Passport to the Clans of Scotland, for kids and families to visit the many Celtic Clans in the Avenue of the Clans to win a prize and a special certificate!

Vendors at the event (partial list)

The marketplace offers a great array of Celtic and Scottish goods ranging from pop culture gifts to the mystical past and everything in between. Be sure to walk through our marketplace on the way to the games, or through the halls of our displays and booths on the shady side of the grounds.


Scotsman Beard

A & A Company (Jewelry)

Off Kilter Kilts

C H Hutchenson

Brown's English Toffee

Buzz Kidder (Kilts and Shirts)

Celtic Shoppe

Celtic Jacalope

Heather Glen

Celtic Isle Designs (Artwork)

Hammerhands  (Dulcimer Music)

Irish Castle

Welsh Baker

Murphys Mustard Company

Taste of Britain

Sunblest Foods  (Meat Pies)

And more to come!


Pipe & Drum Competitions

WUSPBA Solo Pipers and Drummers compete in WUSPBA sanctioned competitions to earn honors for their performances as individual competitors. At the Monterey Scottish Games, Scottish tunes are played as Marches, Strathspey / Reel and Jig / Hornpipe, and in the classic form of Gaelic piping, the Piobairachd (Pibroch). These soloists are often members of a larger pipe band organization, and this is an excellent chance to show off their individual talents.

Highland Dancing

Although historically Highland dancing was restricted to males as a way to keep soldiers sharp on the battle field, today it is mostly performed by females. No matter who dances them, Highland dances require both athletic and artistic skill. Some competitors perform classic Highland favorites requiring well over 150 jumps in one song. Don’t miss out on this amazing display of skill and precision.

Scottish Meat Pies from Heritage Meat Pies/Sunblest Foods 


Scottish Meat Pies

Traditionally seasoned ground beef with oats. In a short pastry crust

Steak & Mushroom Pie

Tender steak with mushrooms in a rich beef gravy

Cottage Pie

Tender steak with mixed vegetables (carrots, Potatoes, onion) in a rich beef gravy

Chicken Pies

Swanson didn’t make this one! – Breast of chicken with fresh mixed vegetables  (corn, celery , onion , carrots, peas) in a creamy white sauce

Sausage Rolls

Beef and pork blended sausage Piped into our own puff pastry and baked off (brought many a rugged Scotsman to tears because of our sausage rolls similarity to the ones their Mums used to make)

Shepherds Pie

Seasoned ground beef with mixed vegetables (peas, carrot, onion)with a traditional mashed potato top rather than our puff pastry top

Curry Lamb Pie

Inspired by the glory days of the British empire and the curry shops of London. Tender seasoned lamb with mixed vegetables (carrots, corn, peas, potatoes, garlic, celery, onion), in a rich red mussman curry. Not too hot, but you definitely know it’s curry.

Mac & Cheese Pie

Seven cheese mac & cheese, not your high school cafeteria mac and cheese. We use Tillamook cheddar, Asiago, Fontina, Provolone, Parmesan, Bleu, and of course the foundation to any great Mac & Cheese, Velveeta

Chicken Chili Verde

They couldn’t make meat pies in California without a tip of the hat to all the food they love from south of the border. Breast of chicken in a chili verde made from Hatch Chilis,  black beans, corn, carrots, potatoes. This pie is topped with a tamale style corn Masa.

And now the new Jalapeno, Bacon Mac and Cheese Meat Pie!