QUECHEE— Saturday, Aug. 23 is the day for the 42nd annual Scottish Festival And Celtic Fair in Quechee. This event is very much a true Scottish tradition, a real family event. The hours are 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and the venue is the Polo Field in Quechee. Proceeds go the St. Andrew’s Society Scholarship Foundation, which provides funds to worthy applicants, many of whom study Scottish dance, bagpiping, genealogy, history and Scottish heritage.
Several bagpipe bands will be appearing, hosted by the Saint Andrew’s of Vermont Pipes and Drums. Bands will play in massed formation at 11:30 a.m. and again at closing ceremonies at 4:30 p.m. Each band will also have a solo performance during the day…so there’s piping all day long.
A highlight of the festival is the Vermont Championship Sheepdog Trials, starting at 11 a.m. and continuing throughout the day. This thrilling event demonstrates the fantastic communication between handler and dog. Other features are dancing and traditional Celtic folk and Scottish music, in the music performance tent from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Many young dancers from all over the Northeast and Canada will be competing in the Highland Dance Competition. And there’ll be representatives from more than 50 clans and societies present to help research your Scottish roots. Bands such as Frost and Fire will delight audiences with their sounds.
Scottish meat pies, haggis, fish and chips, scones, tea (as well as hamburgers, ice cream and other “good old American” food) will be available, along with liquid refreshments. Scottish tartans, recordings, scarves, gifts, craftitems and Scottish antiques are available during the day from carefully selected vendors.
Many of the traditional heavyweight Highland athletic events are an annual festival feature, including “tossing the caber,” “tossing the sheaf,” “the stone carry” and “putting-the-stone.” A Highland Athlete of the Day award will be presented by The Scottish Club of the Twin States.
Spectators can participate in the ladies rolling-pin-toss at 3 p.m. and the kilted mile race at 4 p.m. — all participants must wear the kilt — plus many children’s games including a welly toss. Winners receive medals, cups and trophies.
Admission for this all-day event is $15 for adults, $10 for children 5-16, children under 5 are free. Also available is a special patron’s ticket. Patrons receive morning coffee, lunch, reserved parking and preferred seating in the patron’s tent.
The festival is held rain or shine and is located just 5 minutes off I-89 and just off Route 4, seven miles east of Woodstock. Ample free parking is available; Gates open at 8 a.m., Opening ceremonies are at 11:30 a.m. No dogs, please. For more information, call (802) 295-5351 or go to www. quecheescotishfestival.com.