Kootenai Highland Gathering hailed as a success

Clad in kilts and other highland attire, 50 athletes took to the fields near the Riverbend  Restaurant and Saloon north of Libby for the annual Kootenai Highland Games.

Event organizer Dee Teske said the 37 adult and 13 young adult athletes who competed made the 2017 games a record-setting event.

“The Highland Games was a successful event this year for our athletes,” she said. “We had a record showing of 37 adults and 13 young adults, which made for a nice, full day of games.”

Teske said the event drew competitors not just from Montana, but brought in athletes from around the U.S. and Canada.

“Only four of our athletes competing were locals, which meant everyone else and all their families they brought along with them all were from out of Lincoln County and out of state,” she said. “We had athletes from four different states and British Columbia.”

The visitors, she said, were impressed with the beauty of the area and plan to return for future games.

“All the athletes and the SAAA judges (from Boise) say we have the most beautiful setting and venue of all the games around,” she said. “They look forward to being out at the Riverbend each year.”

Teske  said audience attendance may have been adversely impacted by the hot weather, but she and fellow organizers Angie McLaury and Tammy Blackburn were very pleased with the turnout.

“Although weather always seems to affect the spectator turnout in one way or another, we were very pleased with the wonderful folks who still came out and supported the Kootenai Highland Games,” she said. “We are very grateful for the support.”

McLaury, Blackburn, and Teske have already started planning the 2018 gathering, which is scheduled for the third weekend in July, 2018.