PENDLETON -- Just watching athletes take part in Highland Scottish games can get the blood pumping.
After all, it takes a great deal of strength and dexterity to toss the caber, which is a 175-pound, 19-foot, 6-inch pine log that could almost pass for a telephone pole.
But there's much more to the celebration than he-man sports. There's also music, dancing and fun games for kids.
Athena will celebrate its annual Caledonian Highland Games festival July 10-11 in the small community near Pendleton.
It kicks off at 6 a.m. July 10 with a breakfast at the American Legion Hall on Main Street. Cost is $5.
Throughout the day, there will be fun runs, sheep dog trials, a children's bike and trike parade and the grand parade at 9 a.m. on Main Street.
The Highland dancing competitions begin at 10 a.m. at City Park, followed by a bagpiping competition. There will be a Celtic harp performance at 10:30 a.m. on the small stage at City Park.
Scottish storyteller Mary Finney will weave a web of intriguing tales starting at 11:30 a.m.
The men's open amateur 56-pound weight throw for distance contest starts at noon, followed by the sheaf toss at 12:45 p.m., the hammer toss at 2 p.m., the weight throw for height at 2:45 p.m., the stone putt at 3:30 p.m. and the caber toss at 4:15 p.m.
More storytelling happens at 1 p.m., and at 1:30 p.m. there will be a Celtic fiddle concert. An artist will be on hand near the athletic field to give visitors a temporary Athena Caledonian tattoo for $5.
The evening entertainment at City Park starts at 7 p.m. and features the Tri-City-based Desert Thistle Pipes and Drum band, the Boise Highlanders, River City Pipe Band and Weston-McEwen Pipes and Drum band. Admission is $5.
July 11 festivities start at 7:30 a.m. with another breakfast, followed by more sheep dog trials, music and a live bird of prey exhibition.
For more information, about the Games, e-mail admin@athenacaledoniah games.org or call 541-566-3880.
* Dori O'Neal: 509-582-1514; firstname.lastname@example.org