The Texas Scottish Festival and Highland Games are coming up on June 6, 7, and 8 at Maverick Stadium-University of Texas at Arlington.
Check out the website for more information. http://www.texasscottishfestival.com/ .
The 2008 World Highland Games are going to be a part of the festival with professional athletes coming to participate.
The Texas Scottish Festival in Arlington is one of the largest Scottish gatherings in the U.S. and "Highlander" magazine rated it as the number one Scottish festival in North America for entertainment and talent. This is the 22nd year for the festival.
This is something different.
One of the athletes, Gregor Edmunds, jokingly said in his application, that he is looking for a Texas bride. That resulted in the idea of a "Scottish Dating Game", as in the old tv program, "The Dating Game".
This has been included as a part of the festival this year. Lassies between the ages of 24 and 35 can apply to have a date with the World, European, and Scottish Highland Games Champion.
Questions will be asked of the applicant, and the winner will have a chaperoned date with Gregor.
Gregor is 31 years old, 6' 4.5" tall, and weighs 309 pounds. He is the #1 ranked Highland games athlete in the world. His picture is on the Texas Scottish Festival website, along with more information on "The Dating Game", and the events that will occur during the weekend.
Besides "The Dating Game" and the athletic competitions, there will be Scottish musicians, championship highland dancers, food, merchandise, sourveniers, and beverages from Scotland and Great Britain will be available for purchase.
Some events not to be missed include professional and amateur athletics, Scottish fiddle workshop, Scottish miltary living history encampment, Scottish country dancing, "bonniest knees" contest, Scotch whisky tasting and seminars, Celtic harp workshop, a photo contest, All-Scottish breed dog show, Scotch ale brewing competition, shortbread contest, birds of prey, a 9,000 square foot pub tent, a feature Ceilidh, and much more.
Special activities are planned for children. You can read more about these under Activities on the website.
The festival will have five large entertainment tents this year to showcase the national and regional Celtic, folk, and Scottish entertainers. Also, more than 65 colorful tents will represent various clans and families.
Food will include Scottish foods and ales including haggis, fish and chips, scotch eggs, meat pies, bridies, and bangers will be available as well as American festival foods.
Vendors will be there with a wide variety of merchandise from Scotland and Great Britain. Authentic tartan wear, kilts for the gentlemen, crafts, records, books and gift items are some of the items that will be available during the festival. Also you can find unique Celtic designed crafts, jewelry, and art.
The featured and host bagpipe band will be the North Texas Caledonian Pipes & Drums. The solo bagpiping contests will feature some of the premier bagpipers in the world.
Musical acts include acclaimed Scottish fiddler, Brian McNeill, renowned Scottish balladeer, Alex Beaton, and noted folk singer, Ed Miller. Celtic groups include The Killdares, Scottish Rogues, Clandestine, Jiggernaut, Smithfield Faire, Beyond the Pale, Jed Marum, John Taylor, Margaret Gravitt, Seamus Stout, and Hugh Morrison.
The appearance of the featured group, the high energy Celtic rock group, Seven Nations, will delight audiences.
In addition to performing during the day, most of the performers will also be featured during the special evening events. On Friday, there will be a Ceilidh at 8:30 p.m. On Saturday, there will be a special Celtic Rock Concert. And on Sunday morning there will be a kirking service at 10 a.m.
A Friday evening "Calling of the Clans" ceremony will introduce and honor all the Scottish clans in attendence for the weekend. Historically, the calling of the clans was a gathering of clans in preperation for battle, unifying all the clans as one.
The Festival and Games are open to the general public and is an event for the entire family. Most activities are scheduled continuously for each day. Musical entertainment is continuous in several areas, including the largest pub tent in North America.
5:00 p.m. to midnight on Friday
9:00 a.m. to midnight on Saturday
9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. on Sunday
Adults Friday, Sunday $10.00
Weekend Pass $25.00
Children per day $5.00
I haven't been to the Festival, but it sure looks like a lot of fun! I would love to see one of those thrilling bands with the bagpipes and drums. And I would love to see the cute little Scottish doggies. (I miss my little Cairn Terrier, Toto.) I guess I am too old for Gregor, and "The Dating Game". Should be fun to watch, though.
There's lots more on the website. Make your plans to attend-laddies, lassies, and all, Scottish or not. It sounds like there will be things that anyone could enjoy.