Chief's Blog

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October 3, 2017

Nellie and I drove over yesterday and picked up the most beautiful Festival t-shirt you ever saw! This year's Seaside shirt is just awesome! A design you will recognize as the "Official Coat of Arms" of the Seaside Games and yet different in so many ways that it literally sparkles. Some mysterious inner glow that I can't explain . . . . Am I confusing you? Don't worry--you'll see soon enough for yourself that I'm correct and not just mouthing Hebridean myths! LOL!!

So much multi-media advertising is in place that you should begin seeing some no matter where you live! Radio, TV, newspapers and periodicals of all stripes and locales! And if you don't see them, just talk them up to your friends and family by referring them to this beautiful website (thank you, Webmaster Mike!) and any of the great flyers we have spread throughout the County!

Our Beer Sampling venue is assured, thanks to the hard work of so many but mainly Rick LaVallee who is a Games workhorse! And Firestone Walker's fine ales are the latest addition to the growing lineup that you may sample!

Details of our beautiful Opening Ceremonies and Grand Parade are all in place and you will not want to miss this weekend kickoff that takes place at NOON on Saturday. So much more in each and every venue! Come on out and enjoy the great efforts of our wonderful volunteer crew! You won't be sorry!

John & Nellie

September 1, 2017

September? Already?? Then it is definitely time for an update. This year's Seaside Games are shaping up quite nicely. Not without a few glitches for sure but, considering a few jarring jolts of reality, I'd say we have landed on our feet and are moving forward somewhat unscathed! What are those jarring jolts you might ask? Well, the first and what we thought would be our biggest awakening announcement was the notice received from prime entertainment band Celtic Spring that they are retiring (have retired by now) and won't be at Seaside this October. OK, we had them for fourteen straight years, the family is growing up and moving on so we shouldn't be surprised, should we? And the hollow answerback is yes, but . . . we want MORE!!

Fear not, says the white-headed guru of Gamesdom - there's more where they came from. And, lo and behold, he's right! Because, you see, the Celtic Spring family - the Wood family headquartered in Ojai - have grown up and multiplied and splintered into several performance groups all vying to be as good as the original. And it is happening! Bows and Toes is one. Hidden Fifth is another. Three For Joy is yet another from the same family roots (cousins) and they will ALL take their place on the still so named Celtic Spring Stage! And,I will say with authority, you will NOT be disappointed by any!!

Well, we survived that disaster, did we not, and there couldn't be anything else lurking about to bite us where it hurts . . . could there?! No, until Nellie came rushing in with a letter from the UNITED STATES MARINES stating that, due to a heightened state of readiness of our armed forces, the 3D Marine Aircraft Wing Band will be unable to travel to Seaside this October. Crushed? You want to see crushed?? That could describe the rest of our morning that particular day. But no one aspect of the Games is irreplaceable. Of course we want to support our armed forces in their sworn duty to defend our interests and our country and we will miss "our" Marines dearly. Until another day when peace prevails . . . . Replacing a quality ensemble such as a Marine band is no picnic but things are coming together and we expect to have total good news to reveal to you by my next report.
The very special Chief's Dinner being held Saturday night in the Harbor View Room atop the Crowne Plaza Hotel is coming together beautifully and you are ALL invited to attend! Just click on the Advanced Tickets form on the Forms Page elsewhere on this website and order your tickets - and do it today - they are selling out quickly!

All venues of this year's Games are expecting record numbers so please don't miss any aspect over the two days of nonstop entertainment. We look forward to seeing and greeting each of you on our weekend in October! Thanks for reading this blog bit!

John & Nellie

March 22, 2017

2017 Trophy

Question: When is a Scot NOT a Scot? Answer: NEVER! A Scot is ALWAYS a Scot!!

OK, the one exception might be when he/she is participating in the Ventura St. Patrick's Parade . . . as we did with an amazing crew on Saturday, March 11, 2017 . . . and it totally paid off when we were named the "MOST IRISH" entry of the entire Parade!! Yes, we were considered the most Irish of the 80+ Parade entries this year (and this follows the honors of being named the BEST ENTRY of ALL in the 2016 Parade)! Perhaps our colorful kilts fooled them? Or maybe the beautiful Highland Dancers' dresses? Maybe Piper Steve Busch's beautiful bagpiping? Perhaps our excellent Ventura Celtic Players riding and playing aboard Doug Ingram's fine truck and trailer aka float? Donna Ingram's magical transformation of that trai . . . er, that is, Float was worthy of a first class prize for certain! It must have been the Mighty 805 Highland Heavies -- the big Scottish Athletes who so faithfully and personally passed Games cards to Parade Viewers all down the Parade route.


I KNOW it was clearly NOT the Chief riding in Mike McChesney's Kelly Green Alfa Romeo "Pace Car," driven so carefully and cleverly by Games Car Guy Paul Keener. Of course we DID have the Games Princess and her Consort riding high and waving to the throngs . . . .

OR, just maybe it was ALL of these elements rolled into one grand Seaside Games Parade Entry -- the largest conglomeration we have ever had for this Parade -- in the fifteen previous years! Rick LaVallee brought more athletes out to help and the result was this mighty collection of volunteers helping for these few hours to show Ventura County that we have an event every October worthy of their time and trouble to see and enjoy! We want to express our gratitude for all who participated and made this a successful Parade entry. Seaside is a welcome factor in Ventura, being the Number 2 Fairgrounds event after the Fair itself! And we all contribute to help keep it that way. Thanks, All. You deserve a little break now - at least until the Great Fourth of July Street Fair! We want you ALL back and raring to go for that fun time! Thanks and we love you every one.

John & Nellie

January 23, 2017

Here it is, 2017 already! Seems like we just met on the fields of Ventura to compete, eat, listen to music and just enjoy the famous Scottish hospitality known as the Seaside Highland Games.

We do hope to see you at our 2017 SEASIDE HIGHLAND GAMES October 14 & 15, 2017

Seaside Games organizers have always felt that the backbone of these, and any successful Scottish Festival, is the relationship with the Clans and Clan Societies. That was made abundantly clear when these Games were started fifteen years ago and remains a reality today. Seaside's "Clan Row" (aka Main Street on the Ventura County Fairgrounds), spread a full quarter mile from front to back is packed with the Clan and Organization encampments eager to welcome and to fête Games visitors with their own special brand of hospitality.

Bringing so many Clan contingencies to this special place on the Central Coast was a concern because so few were familiar with our beautiful Buenaventura environs. So, to ease these newbies into the Ventura County beach culture and to not simply turn them loose to forage for food on Friday's arrival, Organizers set up an all-Clan dinner and entertainment called "A Scottish Evening." A Scottish Evening consists of a fine buffet supper, live music by some of the weekend's entertainers and a Scottish Fashion Show. The Clans - and many locals as well - took to it as an absolute tradition and, although it was intended to simply be an "ice-breaker" for the first couple of years, shows no signs of fading, lo, these fifteen years later!

The friendly Seaside atmosphere starting on Friday and continuing throughout the weekend has brought a number of Clan Gatherings and Annual Meetings to our shores over the years. We have hosted Clan Officers and Boards and Clan Chiefs from here and abroad to grace the Games with their presence and to feel totally comfortable in doing so.

BUT, at no past Festival have we been blessed with the abundance being promised at these 2017 Games where no less than FOUR Clan Societies have promised their presence for annual AGM gatherings. Representatives of the Campbells, the MacLarens, Morrisons and Clan Ross are in negotiation to have their members attend and hold important business sessions at Seaside - and at least two of these Clans are bringing their Chief as a special guest of the Games! These dignitaries will take part in the Opening Ceremonies and Grand Parade and be celebrated in special Clan functions as well as an All-Clan Dinner being planned where ALL can take part in a "Meet and Greet" time--a time you'll not want to miss! This special event will be on Saturday evening of the Games in the magnificent Harbor View Room atop the Crowne Plaza Hotel. Don't miss it!

Look for further information here on the Seaside Games website ( and on handouts throughout the coming months. Make plans to join in the fun and frivolity as well as the more dignified (but still enjoyable) Clan Society functions around the fairgrounds and throughout our wonderful town.

For more information watch the website or call John & Nellie @ 818-886-4968. See you in October!

Thanks and see you soon in Ventura...


If you'd like to you can see my rantings from previous years.  I've begun keeping them for posterity and to revisit them as we move forward in our efforts.

Until we meet again on the fields of Ventura, California,


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