We had another good year at the festival. Everyone enjoyed the festival this year again, impressed as always, by the park that we have the festival in so we want to give our thanks to the park department and city for letting us use the park.
The Friday ceremony and supper went off without any major problems. Laird McGregor did a wonderful job for us on the Friday gathering. The supper works good in the cabin and I think it should continued to be used in the future.
Dr. Earl Estill and Nancy Dunn did a great job on Sundays Kirking, the clan representative for Clan Campbell said it was one of the best services he had been to.
Lottie Herod of Clan McLean took care of the Hospitality tent in in a grand manner with the help of friends and relatives. Nancy McArthur Cochner of Clan Arthur has accepted to be the host for next year.
We had 26 clans registered and 25 attending. Three of those clans are new clans or have new representatives for their clans. Saturday’s rain sent some clans home early and we had water in a couple of tents. Getting more than 26 or 27 clans accommodated will be addressed on where to place them. If anyone has any suggestions on how to gain more space and still have good foot traffic give me your suggestions.
We are continuing to have the clans have their AGM meetings in the area or during the festival. This is wonderful and we wish to do what we can to encourage their participation.
SAMS “Scottish American Military Society”, have their local AGM here yearly and are going to try and have their national here in the future. Clans Arthur and McPherson are having their AGM meetings in Wichita during or just before the festival. Hopefully they will bring some of their officers to enjoy our festival. Clan Hay is hoping to have their AGM here in 2013 We need to Ann Hastler put together a list of rooms and caterers and local entertainment to supply to anyone wanting to organize their meetings.
It was Suggested by several clans to have the theme of the festival be one of honoring the soldiers and warriors
Lottie Herod suggested that some festivals read a short history of the clans at the sat noonday ceremony.
The SAMS asked if we could have them as an honor guard at the beginning of the sat noonday ceremony. We would like to know what everyone thinks of this idea.
The clans asked about the knobby knee contest and the favorite clans contest so I am going to look into doing something each year.
We need to promote the Friday ceremony more than we do.
We will be promoting the Saturday entertainment more with the clans next year.
My father Webb Clark brought me into the McPherson Scottish Festival, I believe, to introduce me to my heritage. He was ill and may have believed that it was the only way to pass on to me what he already knew. His father, my grandfather, died when my father was 14 years old. Not much time to teach a young man the way of this fathers.
Our culture and heritage comes to us in many forms. Grand buildings from days past as was the discussion last night or the sport of tossing the Caber, the foods that we eat, the music of Bagpipes, Highland or any other dance, to the clothes that we wear. Robert Burns, a great poet, among many others turned mere words into art.
I learned all of these things and more from my involvement in the Festival, but I learned something much deeper. It gave me a new in-site into who my father really was, from the stories that his friends told me after he passed away from his illness. The connection that I found for a grandfather and great grandfather that I had never meet from the stories that my family passed on to me.
In a way it was what it is like when you look into a painting and suddenly see what the painter sees, only it is your own reflection in a pool of life spread before you.
The Scottish Festival is like the preservation of beautiful old buildings only it is the preservation of a living way of life. It is not just about being Scottish it is about passing all ethnic traditions to the next generation of all races and cultures.
2 last minute cancellations: Clans Ross and MacNachtan
New clans Clan Aurther, Crawford, Ferguson, Mackay
New Clan representatives: Clan Davidson, Clan McPherson
New clan layout: The additional space from the new layout worked well although clan Elliot said their traffic was down some.
Host clan recognition: Clan Henderson did a wonderful job being Host Clan this year.
2010 Host clan: Clan MacLean with Lottie Herod, has agreed to be the Host for 2010
AGM meetings: Clan Stewart Society of America Had Their AGM at the Festival And all went well.
Clan Little had Their AGM also and had a good time with it here.
The Scottish Military Society Had their AGM here. They stated they will have it here every year
Family reunion The MacLain Family reunion went well and everyone had a good time. Carol Beck said that she would have it here again in the future
Fire ceremony Unfortunately thee Fire Ceremony had to be canceled because of rain.
We should feel fortunate that we have such good weather for our Festival.
Hoggis The hoggis went on as planed in the Lakeside Cabin With several clans saying it worked well there.
Knobby knee contest Bruce Hay Was the winner of the knobby knee contest We had eight brave men that entered to show off their knee
Favorite clan tent John Grant was the winner of the favorite Clan Tent contest, he was surprised to win but he has been here for many years and was deserving of the recognition
Kirkin ReverendWolcott introduced ReverendDr. Earl Estill. He a wonderful job for the Kirkin and the service. We had some trouble with the lining up of the tartans because we need some better steps for getting on the stage
Genealogy The genealogy tent had good traffic as usual.
There were twenty-seven registered clans this year, of those, four were new clans or clan representatives, Clan Ross, Clan Cameron, Clan Hay, Clan MacBean and Clan Blair. Our faithful friends Barclay, Donald, Grant, Donnachaidh, McInnis, were here And Clan Gunn, canceled at the last minute and MacFarlane was unable to make it due to health reasons. Clan Gordon, and Clan MacKintosh, returned to celebrate with us again this year. We also had Clan MacNachtan, Clan Scot and Clan McLennan represented by the spouses of other clans and the Scottish militia society SAMS as well.
Clan Little was the host clan with their honored guest John Little “president” of Clan Little Society of N.A.. John and Ellen did an excellent job of hosting the clans. Next year they suggested that we should have a knobby knee contest and a haggis throwing contest. As well as a prize for the best clan display judged, by an outsider or new sponsor. What do you think?
Our new friends at Clan Ross Cameron, Hay and Clan MacBean are a great addition to our family. They are new this year and Clan Mackenzie and others have been here for the last two games. New clans are what keep us growing and we are glad that you have joined us and hope to see you again next year. Clan Henderson was selected to be the Host Clan for 2009 The Hendersons have been a strong supporter of the games. Clan Gordon has been with us for several years, Dick Milne Santa, passed away shortly after his retirement as well as several other of our friends and family and will be remembered by many for touching our lives. We need the pictures of these individuals for the memorial page on the website.
We are glad that they were able to join us at the Fire Ceremony and Clan Gathering on Friday night. There were between 100-110 people at the hog-gis roast following the ceremony. There was no confusion about the time of the banquet. Homer was resourceful as usual and pulled us through having feed the multitudes on a load of bread and a extra meat that he provided. Krehbiels have been great supporters of Friday night. He also spoke well of the Highland Cattle who had contacted us earlier in the year to help sponsor the Friday night event. I think that they are both good vendors to have.
Clan MacIntyre arrived with their father Gail who recovered well from his surgery. He still paid in advance even though he cannot remember missing the festival last year. Unfortunately Gail lost his wife this year, we should keep Clan MacIntyre in our thoughts and prayers.
My friends at Clan Davidson, Larry Davidson may not be returning next year as he may be retiring from their commission. Clan MacLean as well as a couple of others let me know that there were some errors during the Day Ceremony that need to be corrected. I am glad that they brought this to Joes and my attention so we can improve the experience for everyone at the festival. We try to do things right and fail sometimes, but that will not stop us from trying. We had their name omitted for the announcements and others were in the wrong order, but we were also having trouble getting late entries in the lineup. We had phone connection problems on stage.
Rev. Robert Wolcott and I presented the offering from the Kirkin of the Tartan on Sunday morning to the Ministerial Alliance.
Reverend Wolcott, spoke to me before the festival about the Kirking and his role he is undergone some changes in his responsibilities. He is delighted to be involved, and has invited Earl Ester to help with the Kirking to give us more depth. I think that he has been growing in his effect and presentation both on Friday night and the Kirking ceremony.He indicated that he thought that there was better response to the Kirking this year. I think having the smaller tent was better this year. The McPherson Childrens Arts Council Choir was smartly received, but the Bagpipes overshadowed the childrens voices. We also had some trouble with the sound system. We were recording the Friday night event and need to see if we can get a copy from Chuck Vetter.
We had the organ grinders again this year,at the clan MacLeod both this year, the second grinder-man has a louder grinder and being the near host clan were positioned in a better position near the childrens activities in the vicinity clear of any other venues. Everyone enjoyed them, it was just to bad that we had to find out too late that they need to be placed where they do not conflict with other events. We should contact them about next year in only having one here in the same location not being next to the clans.
The festival was a great success from all that I spoke to.I think that a childrens theme for this year was a great success and should be continued in some form.
Rick Miller was to be our Host Clan this year, but due to health reasons he will not be able to make it. We hope and pray that all is well with Rick and his family and hope to see him next year. Rick wrote the following message to the festival.
Dennis, it tears me up to do this, but we will be unable to attend the festival this year. My wife has just gotten out of the hospital and is very slowly recovering. She’s just not going to be up to the trip and I depend on her to drive. I hate to let you down–we all very much wanted to go, especially since we were to be honored. I tell you, though, we still feel honored–your festival is the best, hands down. Nowhere else do we feel so at home with a nicer group of people. And you run things so well and are so masterful that it seems effortless (of course, we don’t see you sweating bullets and tearing your hair!). If there were such a thing as professional clan organizer, you would be it. Were you at Culloden, haggis would be England’s national dish! Please accept my sincerest apologies for our not being in attendance. Best wishes and take care.–Rick Miller, clan MacFarlane. “EDITED for PRIVACY”
Rick if you are out there we know you would have been a great Host Clan and we are sorry that you could not make it. We appreciate your works of kindness, but it is all of you that make my job easy and make the festival great.
John Little has volunteered to take your place as the host this year. He did so at short notice and we wish to commend Clan Little for all that they have done for the the festival.
This years festival is the “Year of the Children”, with the focus on the children with special events for the children. Starting with the McPherson Arts Council Children’s Choir performing Friday night at 7 p.m. at the band shell in Lakeside Park as a part of the clan fire ceremony; Kris Thompson, choir director: firstname.lastname@example.org, admission is free. Scottish balladeer Alex Beaton will also perform and tantalize the crowd.
“The Scottish youth games will be a miniature of what the big guys do but at a safer level. There will be a caber toss using carpet rolls. A sheaf toss, that they throw with their hands (no pitch forks for children). A stone throw, and last but not least, races: three legged and potato sack races. There will be a liability waiver for parents to sign in case of injury. It will also be for the children’s train. After the form is signed the children will get a red wristband. We will also have balloons for kids instead of the passport tent having them. All children will get a ribbon for participating in the games. I hope that it goes over well and that the children have fun and want to come again.”
We have a record number of clans registered this year, Kudos to all of you for helping promothe our festival. We also are going to have a Rugby match to my understanding as well as several other new events this year.
The following is a comment that was sent by the new representatives of Clan Gordon. They are new to their position and have presented their clan well. We appreciate their comments and consideration of others in their comments below.
On a more serious note, I just found out that Dick (Santa) Milne, who
used to sponsor the House of Gordon tent passed away on 15 September.
As you know he had serious health problems and I just got an email from
his wife with the news. I just thought that you would like to know.
He will be truly missed.
Dick Milne will be remembered by many for his courage and humor. He represented his clan with love and brought smiles to many faces. Those of you who knew him will miss him and we will carry his good name forward at the festival of one who gave to the children of Alba.
To all of you who attended the festival I want to thank you for making this years game one of the most successful so far. We hosted the World Masters Highland Games and the Masters National Strong Man competition. We also hosted 8 massed pipe bands which was a record for us. We had a record attendance at the gate and the Ceilidh had record attendance as well.
There were twenty-five registered clans this year of those four were new clans or clan representatives, Clan Gunn, Clan MaKintosh, Clan Gordon, Clan Crawford and Clan Boyd. Our faithful friends Barcley, Donald, Grant, Donnachaidh, McInnis, and MacFarlane held down the south end of the grounds standing off the raiders and enduring to the end. Well done my friends.
Clan MacLeod was the host clan with their honored guest John MacLeod “executive vice president” of clan MacLeod. Weedon Nichols and Tom MacLeod did an excellent job of hosting the clans. Sasha helped distribute gifts, a festival tea shirt, to two of the new clans, Clan Gunn and Clan Makintosh. Next year will give it to the newest and oldest clan representative or maybe the one from the furtherest away. What do you think? Let me know by replying to this blog.
Our new friends at Clan Makenzie and Clan Boyd are a great addition to our family Clan Boyd is new this year and Clan Makenzie has been here for the last to games. New clans are what keep us growing and we are glad that you have joined us and hope to see you again next year. Clan Gordon has been with us for several years, but Santa needed to retire and has sent great people as his replacement.
Clan MacLean and MacRae as well as MacCord and MacAlpine were sure and steadfast in their support. We are glad that they were able to join us at the Fire Ceremony and Clan Gathering on Friday night. There were between 125-150 people at the hog-gis roast following the ceremony.
Clan Elliot guarded the borders while Clan MacIntyre helped their father Gail recover from surgery. He still paid in advance even though he lay recovering in a hospital bed. We all wish Gail a speedy recovery.
If I understood things correctly Clan Henderson will be retiring to have their representation to be carried on by their son. I did not get a chance to wish them fairwell as we have been blessed having them join us each year. With that I bid them fairwell and wish them our blessings. Clan Farquharson joined us for the events on Friday and Saturday returning after missing last years games. Welcome Back, we are glad to see you again.
My friends at Clan Davidson as well as a couple of others let me know that there were some errors during the Noon Day Ceremony that need to be corrected. I am glad that they brought this to my attention so we can improve the experience for everyone at the festival. We try to do things right and fail sometimes, but that will not stop us from trying.
My good friends at Clan Little and the Clarks and their unwavering support has help make these games grow and prosper. I wish to thank them and Clan Barclay for their help in teaching me the ways of the Clans.
Rev. Robert Wolcott and I presented the offering from the Kirkin of the Tartan on Sunday morning to Clan Stewart as our Ambassador to the people of S.E. Kansas flood victims relief. The Stewarts have been strong supporters of the festival for many years. Thank You.
If any of you have any ideas about what we can do to improve your experience at the festival please post us a message and let us know this site is for you and is a tool for me to let everyone know about our festival.
How was it for the people of New York during 911 vs. the people of Greensburg, KS on the 14th of May, 2005 after the tornado ? Both events are unimaginable unless you were there and many that were may still be in disbelief. You might ask why is this on a Scottish blog? I was approached by a newspaper from Glasgow about whether there are any Scot’s that were living in Greensburg at the time of the tornado. I was impressed that people from so far would care to inquire of those who’s lives have been affected across the sea.
One thing is for sure things are not the same for any of use as they used to be. I pray that the rest of us do not have to endure these kinds of tragedies in our lives, but as sure as these two events happened there will be others some even more horrific than these. The positive side of any tragedy like these is mans resilience, his ability to overcome adversity and his compassion for those who have suffered.
In both cases families suffered great losses, whole communities, yea nations have felt the pain. In many ways these two events were the same and yet in others they are quite different. If you ask any individual who was there at either event I am sure they would not be able to imagine anything worse. However, the world changed a little forever in each case.
The greatest factor of difference during 911 is that it was a terrorist attack, something that was inflicted men against men. These types of confrontations foster distrust of one another and fear that someone may do harm to our society again. Greensburg was a natural disaster, leaving one with a sense of awe. The thing that sets Greensburg apart from other natural disasters is the totality of destruction. The community is gone, there is none left unaffected. In a disaster like 911 the community recovers, but with Greensburg there is nothing left to recover, all that once defined the community is now gone. Many of the survivors have left never to rebuild, and yet the whole world feels their pain. Just as in terrorist attacks we all know that we have a common thread with the rest of the world. News media from around the world reported on the Tornado just as if it had happened to them. Relief groups and governments are continuing to provide support to the people of Greensburg. The response of the public to the victims of 911 gave finical security to many of the victims families as it should, but I do not know of that kind of support for the victims of Greensburg that have lost everything. Katrina victims lost much when the hurricane launched its attack on the Gulf coast. Its destruction was wide spread and recovery is slow.
It is true that 3000+ died in the 911 disaster, where thankfully only 12 died and many others injured, but in Greensburg the whole community died. Twelve to fourteen hundred of 1400 people were killed injured or displaced. Consider what the effect would have been if all of New York City was destroyed. The impact on the world would have been much greater, but would it have been any worse for the victims and their families? It is sometimes hard for those of us that have been spared the pain and grief of such disasters to remember how blessed that we are.
I am impressed with the resilience of the Greensburg people to rebuild and the surrounding communities that are working around the clock to provide relief. We cannot forget those that have suffered these loses least we lose our own humanity, because I believe that it is this that makes us great. For if we cannot work together in times of crisis then we are surely lost, for hope in only ourselves is very hollow. May God help us to remember those who are in pain and suffering.
May we keep in good Scottish tradition and remember our fellow clansmen where ever they may be, and come to their aid in humility.