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Scottish Festival and Games

June 12, 2017

I spent a huge portion of my weekend at the Utah Scottish Festival and Highland Games. My lady is on the board of directors of the Utah Scottish Association, which meant she was there all weekend. And that gave me good reason to be there too.

My brother and sisters and their families all made it for a while as well.

I was impressed at the Festival’s scale. They announced that ten thousand people attended over the weekend. That seems like a lot to me, not that I know about these things. According to Wikipedia, Utah is the second highest state by percentage Scottish Americans. Who knew?

A couple things really made the event for me. One was seeing just how many kilt-wearing clan-boosting people there are around. And what I mean by that is, I get the sense there are plenty of folks, even in Utah, for whom dressing up and swilling Scotch and swapping stories like this is more a way of life than just a once-a-year festival thing. And that’s cool. There’s definitely something infectious and fun about Scottish culture.

The other was having traditional Scottish athletics in the background more or less constantly. From sheaf tossing and caber tossing to weight for height and distance, or even just lifting huge-ass rocks, it was fun to have those events going on continually. Sometimes I’d stop and watch, other times I’d just catch a glimpse as I was walking by. But it added a ton to the vibe. And, again, I had no idea there was a thriving Highland Games circuit in the US.

There were food vendors, obviously. The pies impressed me most on that front. Meat and other pies where well prepared and quite tasty. I had the lamb curry and the mac and cheese offerings. I suspect most people wouldn’t have been one bit disappointed to order one of them at a true Scottish pub.

Of course, the best part, for me, may have been buying a leather kilt from a couple gay kilt merchants. There’s always been something fun about getting fitted for leather gear by fellas who have some experience with it.


From → Navel Gazing

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