History of the Tacoma Highland Games

The Tacoma Highland Games were held for the first time in 1970.    The games came about as a result of a few individuals getting together and deciding that if Seattle could do it — why not Tacoma?

    The founders of the game consisted of Dick Roberts, Bill Micenko, Tina Gray, Jack Montgomery and the Grand Old Man of the Tacoma Scottish community Johnny Montgomery.

    Jack Montgomery was the games first president.    Bill organized the piping competition while George Mitchum ran the field events.    Tina handled the dancing competition and Johnny Montgomery served as the games first piping judge.

    Dick Roberts, who is a past president of the Tacoma Rifle and Revolver Club, functioned as liaison between the Scottish community and the Black Powder Shooters.    It was through Dick’s efforts that arrangements were made to hold the games at TR&R.

    As the games grew in popularity and the number of competitors increased, it became apparent these folks were going to need help.    As a result, the operation of the games was turned over to the Clan Gordon Pipe Band, who in turn managed the games for a few years.

    In 1975, the games were incorporated as a non-profit organization and the Tacoma Highland Games Association was formed.    Some of the early officers and Board members were Terry and Margaret Nichelson, Joyce Denton, Paul and Tina Gray, Dianne Patten, Rosemary Wallace and John Brown, Sr.

    It was during the mid-seventies the games really came into their own.    It was during this period that the first band competition was held and the individual drumming competition started.    In fact, the Tacoma Games were the first games in the Northwest to have tenor drum competition.

    Many fine bands have participated in the games over the years, including City of Seattle, Clan Gordon, Clan Stewart, Keith Highlanders, Olympia Highlanders, Seattle Boys, Seattle Pipes, Tacoma Scots and Washington Scottish.    Some of these organizations no longer exist.

    To all these bands, both past and present we extend a hearty "thank you" for making the games what they are today.

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