The East Oregonian, Friday, June 16, 1899 carried an article headlined “Caledonians Gather.” It states: The attendance at the Caledonian Games Thursday at Athena was immense; the crowd in the grove where the sports were held being estimated at from 2,500 to 2,800. All Athena was there and many from the surrounding country…” The Athena band played at the opening exercises. There were games listed, orators who addressed the crowd, and a baseball game between Pendleton and Milton played during the day. A ball was given in the evening… Sounded like a good time was had by all! Keep the good times rolling!
The centennial year of 1999 was a great year for the Caledonian Games. Athena’s friendly tradition is still extended since 100 years ago. We still are “small, fun, relaxed, and friendly.” Those words describe Athena’s tradition for a century. People come here and remember. So gather your clan and bring them all here to Athena.
Don Duncan of Athena re-instituted our tradition in the 1976 bicentennial year as part of the country’s celebrations. Don did a splendid job of gathering, organizing and promoting and in a short time put the Caledonian Games on the map. Barrett Tillman, Clint Sloan, Sharon Dawn, Berle Nash and Sue Friese have all chaired the Caledonian Games committees. Sue still hangs in there as chairperson of the present day Caledonian Games.
We still say welcome in the old traditional way — Athena’s way and we like our visitors and guests to come and enjoy. We’re going to keep on saying welcome as best we can too, into the 21st century.