Fàilte oirbh (welcome to you), fans of bagpipes, haggis and kilts — the 28th annual Northeast Florida Scottish Games and Festival returns Saturday to the Clay County Fairgrounds.
The daylong glimpse into Scottish culture, history, athletics and entertainment runs from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 2497 Florida 16 W. in Green Cove Springs.
The festival is a descendant of athletic competitions held hundreds of years ago by military commanders in Scotland to keep their troops agile and combat ready. The event includes bagpipe, drumming and Scottish fiddling competitions. The Tartan parade at noon features Scottish descendants marching with the symbol of their clan to open the festival.
“We are honored to share our love of Scotland with visitors from all over the Southeast,” Scottish Games president Audie said. “This event is an opportunity to enjoy the wonderful culture and heritage of Scotland. This year we will recognize Clan Donnachaidh as the Honored Clan.”
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Attendees can meet Scottish horses and highland cows and visit the children’s area with activities and a petting zoo. Melinda Perttu, who played this past weekend with the Greenville Symphony Orchestra, will be the Scottish Games’ Scottish Fiddle Workshop instructor at 10 a.m., as well as a competition judge at 2 p.m.
Traditional Scottish food on sale will include haggis, a pudding made from chopped or minced sheep heart, liver and lungs mixed with oatmeal, suet, spices, salt, pepper and stock. Fish and chips and Scotch eggs (hard-boiled eggs coated in ground sausage and fried) will also be available. Genealogy experts will be there to help people discover their ancestral history, with numerous clan displays around the arena with kilts, tartans, crests and badges for sale.
Live music includes Celtic bands Albannach and Seven Nations, with additional entertainment planned until 10 p.m.
The games support several Northeast Florida charities including Live Like Cameron and Dream Big! Foundation.
Parking is free. Tickets are $12 in advance at neflgames.com and $15 at the gate the day of the event. Children 10 and under are admitted free.