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Monday, July 31, 2006

The Highland Games....


Yes. It is the time of year for my annual pilgrimage. About a decade ago, I got a serious 'bug' for all things Celtic. Music, landscape, heritage (most of my genetic background hies from the British Isles), language, art.... As a result, I seem to attend any sort of Celtic festival that is within reasonable driving distance. This is my 6th year to attend the 60th Annual Pacific Northwest Scottish Highland Games and Clan Gathering. It's rather a big deal here. HUGE fairgrounds filled to the hilt with tents, musicians, food, vendors, animals, dancers, athletes and participants. Cabers are tossed. Pipes are played.


The few things that I go religiously for: "The massing of the pipes". They average around 20 full-sized pipe bands that compete every year. For the opening and closing ceremonies of the day, they bands all march and play together. Hundreds of pipes and drums marching towards you across the field, the vibrations of which resonate all through your solar plexus. It's enough to bring tears to your eyes if you like that sort of thing (which I apparently do).


I go to see the people. A large percentage dress to attend - anything from traditional woolen plaids to utilikilts to Renaissance Faire attire. A woman sitting in front of me at one point had on a straw hat, rose covered jacket and a largish, furry tail.... ??



And the music!!! The last few years I've gone almost exclusively to see The Wicked Tinkers perform. They are wild, hilarious, irreverent, rough-edged and primal. They are also one of the most exhilarating live performers I've ever seen. I'm a total fan girl, and would follow them around anywhere....


And of course, fair food. :-) There is nothing better than deep fried *anything* when you are in the outdoors amongst hoards of people...


An enjoyable day was had. My *one* scheduled recreational outing for the month. (That is all I am allowing myself during my Big Job schedule - unless I get way ahead or something else unheard of). Now, back to the studio....

5 comments:

Tommy-Rocket said...

Wow! I like nothing better than big hairy men in kilts!
Mr Tommy-Rocket is infact English...but a very nice English man :0)
I'm half Scottish, half Irish.
You looked like you had a fab day, it must be great to live somewhere with so much variety of things to do.

PG said...

I don't know if it's my scots ancestory, but the sound of pipes never fails to reduce me to tears. I asked 'Father Christmas' for them once. I learnt to play them when I was a teen, but gave up. As you do.
I think we will have to differ on the food - what IS that? It looks rather like a deep battered crab on its back...

muddy red shoes said...

They make shivers of pleasure go down my spine, as for men in kilts, well I think there is nothing finer. Love the photo of the guy with the blue hand print on his face and the didge, is he a wicked tinker?

Rebecca Bush said...

Thanks for the tour of the fest. I'll have to go some day. Bag pipes and men in kilts-- nothing wrong with that! ;)

tlc illustration said...

Forgot to respond to your kind comments and questions!

PG - the fried food is a partially eaten 'blooming onion'. (They take these huge sweet onions, dice the top 3/4 of it, dip it into spicy batter and deep fry it. It is sinfully delicious).

Sarah - the face-painted dig player is the newest Wicked Tinker. Their old, fantastic one left over a year ago. The sub they had last year was sufficiently proficient, but not lots of stage presence. *This* guy was fabulous! They are an incredible group!

Here's to big, burly men in kilts!!