Scottish Festival Brings Tradition to Arlington

Articles SCottish Games 05-11-15

Visitors experienced a glimpse of Scottish heritage and culture during the 29th annual Texas Scottish Festival and Highland Games at the UT-Arlington Maverick Stadium Friday, May 8 through Sunday, May 10.

“You can’t have a Scottish festival without bagpipes,” said Jim Gibson, a pipe major in the Fort Worth Scottish Pipes and Drums, which entertained guests at the festival with traditional sounds of Scottish bagpipes and drumming

Throughout the celebration, guests enjoyed a variety of cuisines, apparel and souvenirs as vendors enticed onlookers to their booths.

Attending the festivities for the second time, Debbie Head, co-owner of Nana and Papa’s Old Fashioned Kettle Corn, and her husband offered visitors a treat at their stand.

From the food to the clothing to the music, Head said the celebration allowed guests to experience some of the traditions Scotland has to offer.

“I think it brings some culture to Arlington,” she said.

The family-friendly event offered guests with Scottish heritage a chance to trace back their family crests to discover which clan they were a part of.

“I’ve been coming here since I was his age,” said Fort Worth resident, Jenny Spencer, pointing to her 3-year-old son. Spencer, whose grandfather was born in Scotland, said the festival allows her to connect to her roots. “I feel like it’s in my blood.”

Visitors sat in lawn chairs and bleachers and watched amateurs and professionals throw logs and a burlap sheaf during the Scottish Highland Games, an athletic event showcasing traditional Scottish athletics.

“All the games go back to the old days,” said Jeffrey Duer, one of the amateur athletes. His favorite event is usually the hammer throw, where competitors attempt to toss a 16- to 20-pound hammer.

Chris Zemer, who has been selling original root beer at the Scottish festival since 2015, said the environment and the rock and roll Scottish music are major attractions of the festival.

Zemer said three words describe the festival: “Don’t miss it.”