Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Festival Time

Finishing up on my weekend (now that it's late Wednesdays night), on Sunday we headed to Delaplane, VA and the Sky Meadows State Park for the Virginia Scottish Games. It was the brainchild of Daughter#2. The Games are a two day affair and since some of us were busy on Saturday, we decided to meet up on Sunday. It was a beautiful, if very hot, day. There were plenty of tents for the various clans and speciality vendors.

These are Scottish games so there were plenty of athletic events going on throughout the day, When we first got there they were seeing who could pitch this whatever the highest over a crossbar (not visible). I have no idea how heavy the package, but the event seem to require as much timing as strength.
One of the more interesting demonstrations was the Border Collie sheep herding. Anyone who has seen the movie "Babe" knows the basic idea of a herding competition. The dog is controlled with a series of whistles. It was quite remarkable to see the trainer control the dog who in turn moved the sheep in the direction the trainer decided just through a whistle, often from quite a distance. It was a big favorite with everyone. After the demonstration they had a representative from a Border Collie Rescue Organization talk to the crowd. It really takes someone special to be a Border Collie owner. They need to be engaged and worked. Definitely not a dog for a couch potato.

My Grandfather emigrated from Scotland in the 1920s from Glasgow. He's part of the clan Campbell. Definitely not a favorite of most clans since they threw their lot in with the hated English at some point. The clan is headed by the Duke of Argyll.

It wouldn't be a Scottish Festival without beer and Fish n Chips, both of which we enjoyed. Here The Son In Law, Daughter#2 and yours truly enjoy some fine spirits. McEwan's Scotch Ale.

It also wouldn't be a Scottish festival without bagpipes. Most of the pipe bands were there on Saturday for their competition. I would have liked to see that. However the Winchester, VA Pipe Band did drop by for everyone's entertainment.

Here is a short video of them playing Scotland the Brave.

Since it was a very hot day, we spent a good deal of time sitting watching the live entertainment. The Celtic band Rathkeltair was very good. Who knew you could rock out with a bagpipe in your band? You can get a small sample of their sound.

We stayed until about 4:00 and they were wrapping things up. The park provided a gorgeous setting and it was truly a fun day. Score one for Daughter#2.

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