Dublin Villager

Dublin Irish Festival

Highland Games, sports demonstrations popular feature

By ThisWeek Community News  • 

For the first time, children can partake in Celtic games such as the caber toss and braemer stone throw at the Dublin Irish Festival.

The Irish Festival has hosted adult and championship Highland Game competitions in the past, but this year the sports area will offer children a chance to test their strength.

"We're pretty excited," said Jeremy Gerstacker, event coordinator of the new offering.

"We'll have Highland Games athletes to interact with the kids."

In the caber toss, athletes try to toss a log similar to a telephone pole so it goes end over end. The braemer stone used in competitions can weigh as much as 26 pounds.

The Highland Games for children will be modified a bit, though.

"We'll have the caber toss and stuffed sheep toss," Gerstacker said.

"We'll have the braemer stone, too."

He said the caber toss will involve something much smaller and less heavy than the cabers used by adults.

Along with a chance to try out some of the Celtic games, children will also learn a little.

Athletes will demonstrate the games and talk a little bit about their origins.

"There will be history and education as well," Gerstacker said.

The Kids Highland Games will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 3, followed by the amateur Highland Games from 3 to 9:30 p.m. at the Greenfields Sports Area.

Sheep herding will also return to the sports area, back by popular demand, Gerstacker said.

The farm that brought sheep and dogs to the Irish Festival for demonstrations in previous years recommended a replacement, Gerstacker said, adding it's difficult for the farmers to get time away from their chores and farms.

"These are real working dogs," he said.

The Millers Border Collies will be in the Greenfields Sports Area for demonstrations at 1 and 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 4. The Millers Border Collies will also be in the Sports Presentation Tent from 2:30 to 4 p.m. Aug. 4.

The Dublin Irish Festival last year hosted a Highland Games championship, but this year the sports area will focus on demonstrations.

"We have a Gaelic football demonstration and the Akron Hurling Club will be doing a demonstration," Gerstacker said.

The Akron Celtic Guards Hurling Club is slated for the Greenfields Sports Area at 3 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 4 and a Gaelic football game is scheduled for 6 p.m. Aug. 4.

Darts seminars and competitions managed by the Shamrock Club of Columbus will also be going on over the weekend at the Bushmills Whiskey Snug.

The Dublin Irish Festival will run Aug. 2-4 in Coffman Park.

For more information or a complete schedule of sports events, look online at dublinirishfestival.org.

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