In 2008, Wilder and I went to the Texas Scottish Festival & Highland Games. Ever since I've been wanting to go back and finally -finally- this year we went. The TSFHG (to shorten it) is the state festival that unites Scotsmen and enthusiasts for a weekend of merriment, competition, community, music, bad food and great beer. Let's face it, the Scots (and the English, for that matter) aren't known for their cooking. But their beer -now, that's another story. Still, I'm a sucker for Scottish cuisine and had bangers & mash and fish & chips just to cover my bases. I would have gone for the haggis, but I only trust that to be done right in Scotland.
Above, we have a portion of the Clan Tents. The sense of community is so strong here at TSFHG. Everyone is ready to strike up a friendly conversation and the atmosphere is very festive indeed. Below, the tiny video I made. My apologies for the shakiness.
The tartans on display. Beautiful!
Brian, Wilder and Savannah. Savannah was the toast of the festival -so much attention and praise from so many people. She was in Border Collie paradise and I'm so glad we brought her to join the family fun. And...I spy my clan tent!
Yep, that's my plaid. Here we have the Red River Branch of the Cameron Clan, which encompasses (I believe) Texas and Oklahoma. I joined the mailing list, so hopefully I'll get connected with some fun events in the future.
I was quite impressed with the elaborate tent the Macleods had.
The Highland Games are intense -physically- but have such a fun spirit around them. These burly men lift, heave and throw all manner of heavy objects and it's a wonder they don't throw their backs out with every attempt. Here's more info on what the Highland Games consist of.
Wilder and Savannah spectating.
Miss Waverley carried around my purse the majority of the festival and, thankfully, she gave Brian and I beer allowance. What a sweet kid.
Some of the giants competing the games. These. Men. Are. MASSIVE.
Oh, the people you'll meet.
One of the girls during the Scottish Country Dance competitions. Very flight of foot.
My kids' favorite part of the festival: the sand pits. Many o' sand fight with other children ensued, but we're Scottish and naturally ornery so we all dealt with it.
Practicing his long jump.
Waverley applauding a performance in one of the many music tents.
I felt like I was in a Seattle coffee shop circa 1996.
The kids enjoying a treat during a musical interlude.
One of the giants competing in the Highland Games took a break to help kids train for the caber toss. I think these are cardboard inner tubes from carpet rolls.
In the Children's Tent, my wee bairns color Scottish-related pictures and threaded beads. Their fine motor skills were surprising -both made full strands. Yes, mommy was impressed.
As the kids were entertained, we experienced performers "Willow & Her Giant" who told stories, sang and played the harp.
The Calling of the Clans. One the football field, the Clans parade out and gather.
The caber toss practice turned into a mix of jousting and sword fighting.
One of the vendors displaying their wares at the festival. A mix of Steampunk, Renaissance and Scottish garb.
An attendee brought a bubble sword and entertained the kids throughout the evening at various locations with HUGE bubbles. Besides the sand pits, the bubble sword guy was the highlight for them :)