Dallas and Fort Worth have a number of well-publicized cultural events the first weekend of May, but my favorite, hands down, is the Texas Scottish Festival & Highland Games held the first weekend of May on the campus of the University of Texas in Arlington.
When they say “Highland Games”, they are serious. We arrived in time for the Heavy Hammer Throw, Sheaf Over Bar, and Cabers.
The music of Seamus Stout was blasting, and the Belhaven Stout was flowing.
Please sample some of the artists from this year and years past
For the more discerning patrons, Mead and Whisky tasting was available.
The usual collection of “fair food” was on hand, but we enjoyed a selection of pies from Heritage Meat Pies, easily one of the best food vendors at this event. I highly recommend the Curried Lamb pie. Top that off with Zemer’s Homemade Rootbeer. Zemer’s is one my family’s faves. They sell you a cup with your choice of cold rootbeer, vanilla ice cream float, or a new rootbeer slushie. Make sure you save your cup because refills are only $1.00. (Even the floats are only a buck.)
Vendors of traditional and modern Scottish apparel and knickknacks abound. We have seen an increasing number of Steampunk garments and Cosplay accessories in the last couple of years.
A Clan Village allows attendees to meet and greet members of their extended, sometimes VERY extended, families and compare genealogical notes, or take in dance competitions while melodies from the pipers fill the air. Our guest this year discovered her Scottish heritage leads to Clan Gordon by way of Aberdeenshire County.
Scots are big on kith and kin, and the Texas Scottish Festival is a very family friendly event. Kids can take advantage of a special area and activities just for them.
Be sure to catch the North Texas Caledonian Pipes & Drums
and the Fort Worth Scottish Pipes & Drums.
Both groups participate in the opening parades and wander the festival grounds keeping toes tapping. Feel free to break into a reel when the spirit moves you. They are also available to entertain at private events like weddings and parties.
The 1st Weekend in May is the date to remember.
Just because you wear a kilt don’t mean you can’t cowboy up.