Archive for August, 2007

McPherson 2007 Scottish Festival and Games

Thursday, August 30th, 2007

It is about that time of year again that we start to prepare for the big event. Every one is chasing about checking that all things will be in order. Combined efforts lead up to the the big day that everyone has waited for. The tents are up, last minute registrations are in, and soon all of the festivities will begin. The anticipation over the years has changed but never waned. It is a lot of work and about this time you think this is the last year that I’m going to do this.

Then it’s here, the Friday night Clan Gathering ceremony begins all of the preparations are done and begin to pay off. You begin to see old friends arrive bringing new stories from the previous year. You meet new people and all seem right with the world again. The sound of bagpipes in the distance call one to a distant home as the melodies are lifted in the air. The Kilt and Tartan color the field to announce each families presence another year.

The crowd gathers to the tales cast in lyric and song as the sun sets behind them to cast the warm glow of natures lighting of the show. A tail is told of an ancient fire that was tended and stoked by one through the year to warm the others during winters fury. The fires kindled they join in feast to devour the hog-gis beast. Old friends share their annual trials and blessing to welcome new friends that join us this day.

To me the festival is a large party where people of common heritage come together to share their history with the rest of the world and gain a connection with strangers that they would otherwise never have meet. Athletes come to compete in the traditional ways of the caber toss and the sheep throw. The Scottish dancers excite the imagination with their magical rhythm in their step and cadence. Vendors come to share the wares of ancient days and the aroma of Celtic foods fill the air.

The celebration last for days before the Closing Ceremony calls and end to the festival and games leaving friends old and new to say goodbye until next year. And with that in one great rush of wind it is gone left as it was days before with only the memories to carry us through the next year.

The McPherson Scottish festival has been a wonderful experience for me and I hope that it will continue to be. It does not happen though without the work of a lot of volunteers and participants that support our games. It gives me renewed faith in those who work relentlessly each year in order to make this festival possible.