Tuesday, May 09, 2006

Saturday's Scottish Fun

So we are now in May, but I am still blogging about our trip at the end of April. We went to the Southern MD Celtic Festival on the second leg of our trip. I have a friend who lives near by who showed us great hospitality for the weekend. First off, Southern MD is beautiful, the rivers, the bay, really pretty. The festival entrance fee wasn't cheap ($15 adults, $5 children) but it was chock full of bagpipe and kilt goodness. 100_1668.JPGLots of people were dressed, from the fancy costumes of the pipe bands to historical reenactors. It would have been fun just to people watch all day. And we had ample opportunity to do that while waiting in very long lines for food. I should have gone for the fish and chips, but the line for bridies looked shorter. In terms of quantity, I think my friend rated first with an awesome chicken gyro. I was fortunate enough to find reasonably priced hotdogs for the kids at a boy scout tent in the merchants area...no wait either. Enough about the food.

We watched the dancing, of course. Several dancers from my kids' school were there and it was fun to watch them compete. Some of them were competing to advance to the US Championships in NY in July. Seating (or standing) for the dance was out in the sun so we kept it moving visiting the caber toss area and the clan tents. We listened to some music and were rapt as a talented storyteller told his tale. The two highlights for my son, however, were visiting the 84th Regiment of Foot reenactors and the mercenary sword dealer. 100_1671.JPGOf course with our recent trip to Williamsburg all things colonial were interesting, but here it had a Scottish twist. His uniform from the waist up (except for the head) looked just like a regular British army soldier. However he had a Balmoral cap on his head and of course a kilt instead of trousers. He explained how after the battle of Culloden the King outlawed the wearing of the kilt and the playing of the bagpipes but when Britain needed soldiers for the army they told the Scots if you join up you can wear your kilts in the army. It worked.

My friend got the attention of the sword dealer and asked him "What cha got?" He returned, "Anything you are looking for." Julius came closer and he picked up that "Tell me about some of these swords," meant put together a little lesson for the boy. He did. "This, this one would have been the kind of sword William Wallace carried." He proceded to demonstrate all the different ways it could be used against the enemy. He did this for about 6 different kinds of swords. My friend held several of the swords and remarked on their heavy weight. Now we think we know why highland games consist largly of throwing heaving things around. At the end the sword dealer quips, "I also do birthday parties." (wink).

There are games coming on May 20 in Fair Hill, MD, very close to Newark, DE for those in SE PA who may want to venture out. That same weekend is a reenactment of the Battle of Culloden (near Chambersburg, PA), check the Fieldlearning calendar for links to that. And for a list of games around the world (many in the US) click here. It is out of date but has links to current websites with correct dates.


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