January 23, 2020

Heather Richendrfer, Executive Director
Scottish Dance Society
(360) 715-8682

Bellingham Scottish Gathering Announces New Location for 2020

The Bellingham Scottish Gathering will move to North Bellingham Golf Course for its June 6, 2020 event. Organizers say the change greatly enhances the future of the annual festival held at Hovander Homestead Park in 2018 and 2019.

“This is a very positive option for the Gathering,” Scottish Dance Society Executive Director Heather Richendrfer said. “We are a growing festival attracting participants from around the world. As we evolve we will focus on improving our offerings to the public. North Bellingham Golf Course provides opportunity to accomplish this goal through the enthusiasm of their management and the quality and size of the property.”

The course sits on 360 acres on the Smith Road just off the Guide Meridian and is a public Scottish links style course. Golf has its origins in Scotland and a tournament will be added to the 2020 Gathering.

“We are looking forward to hosting the Scottish Gathering and adding a new event to the games that not only originated in Scotland but also has a deep, rich history there,” PGA Head Professional Nathan Vickers said. "A game of golf on our Scottish Links Style course seems like a natural fit to the Scottish Gathering and Games and should only enhance the festival which will use the wide open fields surrounding the course for all of their other events. With games, music, animals, food vendors, and a beer garden; it should be quite the gathering!” Vickers added.

The Highland Games Scotch Ball Tournament features two-person teams. Both players tee off on each hole. Then they choose which ball to play and alternate on it until it is holed.

The Bellingham Scottish Gathering is a full-scale Highland Games featuring competitive Highland dancing, individual bagpipe and drumming, Scottish athletics and bagpipe band events. Scottish merchants, food vendors, clan tents, animal displays and a beer garden are part of the day-long celebration of Scotland’s culture.

“I am very pleased to be working with the professional staff at North Bellingham Golf Course,” Richendrfer said. “It is a partnership bringing another aspect of Scottish culture to our event. We are excited to share this experience with participants and visitors.”

Dave McKay is owner of McKay’s Taphouse in Bellingham, Washington and provides the beer garden at the Gathering. “I love being part of the Highland Games,” McKay said. “We are happy to make the move to North Bellingham Golf Course. It is a brilliant idea.”

The Bellingham Scottish Gathering is made possible in part by City of Bellingham and Whatcom County Tourism Grants in 2020. More information is available on the Scottish Dance Society website: and golf tournament information:

        We acknowledge that Whatcom County is located on the unceded territory of the Coast Salish Peoples. They cared for the lands that included what we’d call the Puget Sound region, Vancouver Island and British Columbia since time immemorial. This gives us the great obligation and opportunity to learn how to care for our surrounding areas and all the natural and human resources we require to live. We express our deepest respect and gratitude for our indigenous neighbors, the Lummi Nation and Nooksack Tribe, for their enduring care and protection of our shared lands and waterways.
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