The air was filled with the sound of bagpipes at the 44th Annual San Diego Scottish Highland Games and Gathering of the Clans the weekend of June 24-25. Located in the quaint hills of Vista, California. One of the smaller events in southern California, it provides a friends and family venue that can’t be beat.

Scottish culture filled the park during the two day festival, which featured a variety of activities and entertainment for guests of all ages: Sheepdog trials, Highland dancing, Scottish vendors, cuisine and beverages, bagpipe and drumming competitions, clan heritage tents, and hands-on children’s activities.

The festival’s popular beer garden–recognized by San Diego Magazine as the Best Beer Garden in North County–was a gathering place for attendees to sample flavorful beer varieties, while mingling with friends old and new.

Convened by Greg Wallace (right) and Kevin Michaels (left).

Some highlights of the festival…

  • Over 10,000 visitors
  • Over forty clan booths.
  • Athletic competition managed by the Scottish American Athletic Association, SAAA, with two world record attempts.
  • Popular Celtic bands Wicked Tinkers, Highland Way, and Banshee in the Kitchen performed on two festival stages.
  • United States Scottish Fiddle Champion, Mari Black.
  • United State Western Highland Dance Champion, Beret Dernbach.
  • Two 1-day USBCHA sanctioned Sheepdog Trials — Open & Nursery.
  • Over 50 vendors.

The Clan Wallace Booth

The booth was visited by Wallace families from as far as Omaha, Nebraska and Cedar Rapids, Iowa. Twelve signed the registry with two visitors interested in becoming involved with the Clan Wallace Society.



Contributed by Greg Wallace

Comments (1)

Dear Clan Wallace,
I was so happy to see that my highland dancing daughter, Beret Dernbach, was featured on your website as a highlight of the San Diego Highland Games! Beret went on this past summer to win the United States Championships, and compete in the World Championships in Dunoon, Scotland, where she won a gold medal in one event, and qualified for the finals as 3rd runner-up overall in her age group. We were wondering if your clan might have a scholarship that we could apply for. Beret would like to be able to attend all the competitions she did last year, but it is difficult for me to be able to fund this all on my own. This coming year, her participation will truly be determined by how much financial help we receive. This is not a “fund me” attempt, but rather the reality of our situation. Last year, it cost over $8,000 just for us to go to Scotland for her to compete at Worlds…it is not a realistic expense that I can cover again this year.
Beret is ready and willing to be an exciting representative of Clan Wallace! If we are close enough, I will make sure she can attend to entertain at a clan meeting/fundraiser/event that you have going on. We truly cannot do this international level of competition without help from our extended Scottish family. Any help Clan Wallace is able to provide her would be well rewarded in 2018. She is working very hard with the (literally) best dancing teacher in the world, and, if given the opportunity, will do even better this year, than last!
All the best to Clan Wallace! Happy Thanksgiving!
Allison Dernbach (Beret’s mum)

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