The Queen Mary hosted the 27th annual Scots Festival and International Highland games the weekend of Feb. 15 and Feb 16 in Long Beach, Calif. The festival of sport, dancing, music and food pays homage to the culture of Mary, Queen of Scots, for whom the monolithic vessel is named.
The International Highland Games are a series of traditional Scottish and Celtic sports. The majority of the events are throwing heavy objects for height or distance. At this year’s games, the court hosted the North American Professional Male Championship and North American Lightweight Women’s Championship.
Highland dancing is a staple of the Scots festival. Boys and girls compete using the same choreography and bag pipe song for a panel of judges who awards ranks. Fire dancing is also common feature at the Scots Fest.
Music and Parades
Pipe bands from all over the country come to compete and participate in the grand parade. The LA Scots, LA Fife and Drum, Glendora High School Pipe Band, Pasadena Scots and many other bands came to play.
Things to do
Festival-goers could watch street performers, dart competitions, period reenactments, sheep hearding demonstrations and various performances around the festival. Shopping booths, axe throwing, and archery were also set up for Scots Fest ticket holders.
Fish and chips, Scottish eggs, haggis, bangers and mash, whiskey and so much more was available for Scots Fest goers to purchase. To kick off the grand parade, Clan Scot Society Southern California Commissioner Andy Scott gave the Address to the Haggis. The address is a reading of Scottish National Bard Robbie Burns’ poem of the same name followed by haggis and whiskey tastings for all. Reading the poem, which is a love letter to haggis, is meant to acknowledge that the food is reliable and feeds the common, humble family during hard times.