The Northeast Florida Scottish Games and Festival is celebrating 21 many years of bringing a wee little bit o’Scotland to Northeast Florida February 27 within Clay County Fairgrounds. EU Jacksonville talked with one of the festival’s creators about developing pains, Scottish games, additionally the obtained flavor of haggis. A Mass Band starting Ceremony commences the festival at noon, a spectacular occasion that organizer EJ Taylor claims is certainly not to be missed. “All the competing bands bond and march into the arena where we have our opening ceremonies and then we introduce our honored clan. We've anywhere from 40 to 50 clans. it is quite a wonderful picture really, ” she states. “The honored clan in 2010 is Clan MacPherson. We also have an incredible lineup of groups this present year featuring Albannach, Cleghorn, and Cuttin’ Bracken. We shall have lots of wonderful food and product suppliers, so we do lots of demonstrations. Also, we have about 100 athletes from about the country that take part in our Scottish athletic tournaments.”
Among shows associated with games is the athletic competition, in which athletes compete such difficulties due to the fact well-known caber toss, the hammer throw, body weight for level, sheaf toss, and rock throw. The sports competitions, Highland dancing, and bagpipe and drumming tournaments are typical sanctioned festival activities. Alternative activities feature sheep puppy tests, in which border collies prove just how shepherds and dogs come together to herd sheep, along side a Highland breed puppies and Highland livestock, including Clydesdale Horses and Shetland Ponies.
an athletic center is held per week before the games to offer training in a secure and managed environment. Highland professional athletes are there any to show and teach the correct methods and Taylor states many participants interact as beginners at the games.
One of the most popular attractions could be the children’s location, which attracts to 1, 500 kids with clowns, face painting, miniature sports activities and a color contests with a ten dollars cash award. “The kids additionally the parents think it’s great, ” Taylor says. “nevertheless the moms and dads may pass up a number of the other activities due to the fact young ones don’t desire to leave the location.”
Taylor has-been an integral part of the games since its rebranding 21 years back. Initially, the St. Andrew’s Society of Jacksonville hosted the function but overlook it for economic explanations. The recently reformed team included because the Jacksonville Scottish Highland Games. Only 100 individuals attended their inaugural event presented during the chapel of Our Savior in Mandarin. They relocated to the University of North Florida, but university developing aches forced all of them locate a larger place. “It had been tiny, ” states Taylor. “We now have upwards of 15, 000 people, so it’s developing quickly. It’s already been a delightful journey.”
The partnership utilizing the Clay County Fairgrounds gave them space to expand and include 20 activities. They usually have in addition included some American meals sellers to appease those who “simply don’t like Scottish meals, unlike myself, just who really loves everything, ” Taylor claims of the traditional Scottish meals like fish-and-chips, bridies and of course, haggis. “It’s perhaps not everybody’s taste. I spent my youth on haggis because my grandparents emigrated from Aberdeen. I’ve developed loving all that great meals. It took myself a bit for regularly it nonetheless it tastes slightly like meatloaf in the event that you don’t consider what’s inside it.”
The Games still develop and reflect the deep connections and results the Scots and their descendants experienced on the United States and Northeast Florida in particular. Not everybody just who concerns the games is of Scottish descent, but everybody can learn a wee little bit ‘o Gaelic or track their particular heritage with a free, onsite genealogical expert. “It’s truly exciting to know about and celebrate for which you result from.”
Tickets tend to be $12 in advance, $15 in the gate. Profits can benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and Clay County Sheriff’s Office Pipes and Drums. For information or to buy advance seats, see or locate them on Twitter at Northeast Florida Scottish Games and Festival.