Monday, June 14, 2010

Texas Scottish Festival

Good evening. Ya'll come on in and sit a spell for I want to tell you about the Scottish Festival we attended in Arlington TX. It was so much fun and I tried to get Sam and Roy to wear a kilt like the one above but they decided not to. They probably would have been cooler depending on what they wore under the kilt. By the way, I didn't get an answer to that question. Many of the men and women wore kilts which are beautiful and are made from the clan's tartan or plaid and woven from wool. Would be great for the cooler climates but Alex said he felt like he had on 9 yards of sheep. We'll have to make ours out of South Georgia cotton.

It was Texas hot and as you know everything is bigger in Texas so the weather has to be hotter. We began our day by attending the Kirk Service. It is the worship service and we joined with the others in worshipping our God and Father. There were 8 or 9 different denominations represented there but we all had one goal - to worship our Lord.

The preacher was from Scotland originally and he now lives in Texas but still has that wonderful Scottish brogue. Our singing was accompanied a guitarist and a harpist. I tell you, if there are musical instruments in heaven the harp is surely there for it sounded "heavenly."

After the service we began the journey to find our clan's tents. My family is the Pollock or Polk clan which is part of the Maxwell clan and they didn't have a tent. We were disappointed but maybe next year. Roy's family is a sept of the Gunn clan and they had a tent and a warm welcome.We signed the guestbook and were given cold water to help with the heat. As we looked at the banner seen below, we discovered that 2 of my families are also in the Gunn clan - the Williamsons and the Robins. It is most interesting to find these bits and pieces of your background. Some day maybe we can travel to Scotland and see where our family began.



These are the clan tents. They all had cold water and a warm welcome for the clan members and many were dressed in the tartans of their clans. It is amazing that though the tartans may look similar, each one is different and quite lovely. I plan to buy enough online of the Pollock tartan to at least make a shawl for the winter.
This young lady is Rebekah and played the harp for our Kirk Service. They also had harp competitions and lessons on how to play the harp. She is a beautiful young lady and plays the harp like an angel. Besides the harp competitions they had folk dancing and Celtic language workshops.

We spent a good bit of time in the big tent with the folk singers for not only was it shady and cooler, we love the folk music of Scotland. We heard one group called Smithfield Faire from Baton Rouge, LA. They have studied the music from Scotland for several years and traveled extensively in Scotland and they were very good. The music was great and their comments on the music were funny and interesting. I have included a link for them and they have cds for sale and they would be good if you like Celtic music.


The other singer was Alex Beaton from Scotland but now living in California. He has a wonderful, deep, smooth voice that you can listen to for hours. He accompanied himself on the guitar and entertained us with the old songs or Scotland. He is not only a musician but also manages many of the Celtic singers here.


The next activity we watched was the hammer toss where they toss a large lead ball that weighs about 60 pounds to see who can chunk it farther. It is quite a skill and those are big men who participate in this sport. This game has been played for hundreds of years and takes not only strength but also a great deal of skill. It was beautiful to watch the techniques used by these strong men.

As you can see they participated in this sport wearing kilts.



This is the North Texas Police Scottish band made up of bagpipes and drummers. The man playing the bass drum in the center was very good and really enjoyed his performance. I think he may be the leader. They have won quite a few competitions. The skirl of the bagpipes soared all around us and if you closed your eyes you could almost believe you were in Scotland.


Cindy and I finally had all of the heat we could take and we headed for the car and home. We had a great time and I had my first taste of Scottish Eggs which are quite good.

It was a wonderful day and except for the heat it was a perfect day. We hope to go to the one in North Carolina or at Stone Mountain, GA in the near future for it is interesting. Maybe I can make us kilts to wear.

Ya'll come back to see me and try to stay cool in this triple digit weather.

Nuff said,

The Georgia Peach


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