Sunday, October 3, 2010

Santa Cruz Scottish Games

Saturday, Oct 2, August O'Connor and I attended the second annual Scottish Games at San Lorenzo Park in Santa Cruz, CA. Here we watched grown men and woman toss heavy stones and large poles (cabers) record distances, witnessed the gathering of the clans in which the McPhersons, the Bells, the Crawfords and a score of other Scottish tribes proudly displayed their lineages to the public and marched before the queen and her retinue--everybody dressed in costumes covering several historical periods from medieval to modern. We observed an old-fashioned forge and a weapon shop, booths that sold haggis, pot pies, Guinness, musical instruments and plenty of Celtic clothes and adornment where August purchased a brown-and-yellow tartan scarf from county Down. Traditional Celtic music was present in abundance, headlined by the Wicked Tinkers and 1916, plus a plentitude of pipers, Scottish dancers and musicians from the Community Music School of Santa Cruz.

August and I worked the fair as wandering minstrels, she playing the bodhran (Irish frame drum) and I the penny whistle (which a friend recently described as "the gateway instrument to the bagpipes"). The attached clip by videographer Allan Lundell from Awake Media, captured us playing "Father Kelly's Reel" near the gaming field at the close of an boisterous Scottish day.

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