The St. Andrew’s Society of Detroit Highland Games Too

The St. Andrew’s Society of Detroit Highland Games continues today in Livonia, Michigan. Field Chair Patty McKinnon gives us her perspective on the activities.

My own ethnicity/heritage is, of course, Scottish through my father, Wallace James McKinnon, and his mother who was a Rutherford and her mother who was a MacWilliam and born in Scotland. My great grandfather McKinnon was also born in Scotland. On my Mum’s side, I am Welsh and Scottish. Further back, there is Irish too.

At the age of 38, I was widowed with 4 small children. The St Andrew’s Society of Detroit Annual Highland Games soon became a family tradition. I joined the Society several years ago and immediately volunteered  for the Annual Games. As our Society is the oldest benevolence society in Michigan, founded in 1849, I wanted to be a part of the one event that produces the most monies for those benevolences.

The Games
This year is our 164th Highland Games which makes ours the longest, continuous Games in North America. I get to work with some fantastic people and I love the experience. We bring anywhere from 10,000 to 13,000 fellow Celts through our gates in one Saturday afternoon. Helping to promote the Scottish traditions and culture to the Detroit Metropolitan area gives me a great feeling of pride and enjoyment. It is a huge personal reward to me and something I will continue to do for the rest of my life. 

The Future
The internet has opened up so much worldwide information and communication. We are especially interested in bringing the next generation into our events.  Oftentimes, families have lost their immediate ties to their Celtic heritage. The Highland Games and Festivals that take place throughout the world today stand as testimony to the strong ‘call home’ to those traditions.  I would encourage anyone with the slightest interest in such things to get out there and attend, participate and join with all these beautiful people and their efforts to maintain (and grow) the Celtic life.