The 56th Scottish Gathering and Highland Games will be held on the grounds of the Salado Civic Center, Nov. 10-12.
Heralding all things Scottish, this landmark event is the oldest Scottish festival in Texas and has been sponsored continuously by the Salado Museum and College Park (formerly Central Texas Area Museum) since 1961.
The three-day event includes the skirl of bagpipes, wearing of the tartan, tossing the caber, Highland dancing, Celtic entertainers, shopping, food and fun. One of the event’s main features is the Clan Village, the largest gathering of Scottish Clan tents in Texas where members from 40 Scottish clans and societies will share information about Scottish history and genealogy.
The weekend begins on Friday evening Nov. 10 with the Calling of the Clans at 6 p.m. on the banks of Salado Creek off Royal Street just north of the museum building. This is a solemn torchlight ceremony that recreates the coming together of the ancient Scottish clans to fight with Robert the Bruce for Scotland’s freedom in 1314 at Bannockburn. The ceremony is followed by a Welcome Social at the Museum.
The Civic Center grounds are open Saturday Nov. 11 at 9 a.m.-5 p.m. The official opening ceremonies begin at noon with the Bands and Clans Parade on Main Street followed by presentations and massed bagpipe bands on the grounds. The parade will start at North Pace Park Road and move north on Main Street to the Civic Center grounds.
The day’s activities include Scottish athletics competition, Highland Dancing competition, bagpiping and drumming competitions, Bonniest Knees Contest, live Celtic music, a Celtic marketplace, local and Scottish food vendors and more. The day closes with the Texas Tattoo at 5 p.m. on the grounds at the entertainment tent.
The Tattoo includes performances by bagpipe bands, Highland dancers, and Celtic musicians. Entertainers for this year’s Gathering are Scottish singer Ed Miller, Celtic band Lonestar Stout, Scottish button accordionist Hugh Morrison with singer Jed Marum, singing trio The DramBeauties, and singer Joe Romeo playing Scottish small pipes and Irish bouzouki.
Sunday events (9 a.m.-3 p.m. Nov. 12) begin with the Kirkin’ o’ the Tartan, a traditional devotional service in which family groups carry banners of their family tartans and ask blessings on the families. The day’s activities include bagpipe band competition, Clan tents, pet parade and contest, music, food, and shopping.
The Wee Scots Gift Shop will be open all three days in the Salado Museum building, located on South Main Street across from the historic Stagecoach Inn.
For ticket prices and more information, go to www.saladoscottishfestival.com or call the Museum at 254-947-5232.