Highland Games won’t be at Norris-Penrose this year

       The Scottish Society of the Pikes Peak Region, which had been scheduled to bring its Highland Games back to the Norris- Penrose Events Center this summer, has canceled the date and will instead join a June 17-19 event in Canon City called the Gaelic Highland Festival.
       Jim Sim, a long-time Scottish Society leader, said the reason for the decision was a combination of “trouble financing the games here at Penrose” and a good offer from Festiville Productions (promoting the Gaelic event).
       “Basically they (the Gaelic event promoters) needed our expertise putting a Highland Games into their festival, and they paid us for our expertise,” Sim said. “We're helping them put on something bigger.”
       Highland Games activities include music, dancing, pageantry, clan gatherings, educational booths and special athletic events.
       Last year had marked the return of the Highland Games to Colorado Springs after a five-year hiatus, following 17 years in which the volunteer Scottish Society annually held the one-day event somewhere in the region. It was the first time for the Games at Norris-Penrose (formerly known as the Penrose Equestrian Center).
       After the 2004 event, a society spokesperson said that attendance was about 2,500, saying that was good considering there were three other Highland-type events in the Rocky Mountain region the same weekend. The society then put down a deposit to hold the Games at Norris-Penrose again in 2005.
       However, Sim said the 2004 turnout was actually closer to 1,000 and was not a financial success. He added that the Gaelic Festival expects to draw up to 12,000 during its three-day run.
       Bill Miller, general manager of Norris-Penrose, said he understands the society's situation this year. “I wish them the very best and hope to have them back someday,” he said.

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