The bagpipes are coming. Drum Majors are leading the way. In just a few short weeks the sound of the pipes and drums will be heard throughout Meeks Park on Saturday and Sunday, June 10 and 11 when the 14th Annual Blairsville Scottish Festival finally arrives. Meeks Park on Highway 515 hosts all the events beginning at 9 am each day. The opening ceremony with the massed bands and parade of tartans will be at 12 noon on Saturday.
Under the leadership of Drum Major Don Bogue the massed bands will consist of the Atholl Highlanders Pipes & Drums, Alhambra Highlanders Pipe & Drums, John Mohr MacKintosh Pipes & Drums, North Atlanta Pipes Drums and our local Appalachian St. Andrews Pipes & Drums. The sound of a lone piper off in the distance may be that of Richard Smith, our featured Solo Piper.
A Scottish Festival would not be complete without music and dancing. Award-wining duet Raven and Red will be performing during the weekend. This pair offers a combination of genres, including country, classical, Celtic, and American folk music. Raven and Red, based in Nashville, TN, consists of Brittany Jones (vocals/violin) and Mitchell Lane (vocals/guitar).
The Blarney Girls, from Duluth, GA, will also be performing their unique blend of Celtic, Folk, Traditional and neo-traditional sounds. They are known for writing and recording their own arrangements which they will share throughout the Scottish Festival on Saturday and Sunday.
Colin Grant-Adams is a balladeer who specializing in the traditional folk songs of Scotland and the Celtic nations and its influence on American Folk & Bluegrass music. Colin, who hails from Scotland, offers festival goers an educational, fun and entertaining time.
Seven Nations is five-piece Scottish rock band out of Orlando, FL, which blends American traditional rock and the rock traditions of their Celtic roots. Their sound is created using the mandolin, violin, bagpipes, and horns. The band was formed in 1994 and has played concerts around the globe.
Instructional workshops will be offered for traditional Scottish musical instruments. Debbie McDermott and Jessica Craig will be holding fiddle workshops and Tracie Brown will be offering instruction on the Scottish Harp. Richard Smith will be offering a workshop on the bagpipes. If you have ever wanted to learn to how to play come visit with these instructors.
The Scots are known to kick up their heels and enjoy a good reel or jig. The Royal Scottish Country Dance Society and the Glencoe Highland Dancers will be performing traditional Scottish dances. If you ask nicely they may just let you join them! If dancing and music aren’t your interest be sure to stop by and visit with historic re-enactors, Clann Nan Con, and blacksmithing demonstrator Joshua Whitener.
Saturday evening from 6:30 – 8:30 at the Entertainment Tent there will be a special concert featuring the Blarney Girls and Seven Nations. $5 will ensure you have a great time at Blairsville own Scottish Rock concert! Tickets may be purchased throughout the day Saturday or at the gate.
Volunteers are a vital part of the success of the Blairsville Scottish Festival and Highland Games as over 9,000 visitors attend each year. If you would like to be involved in this exciting event please contact Renee Deibert at 706-897-4598.
Remember the Scots are coming to Meeks Park June 10 and 11 and do they know how to have a great time!! Come experience this event that ranks #11 of the Southeast Tourism Society’s Top Twenty Festivals and Events.