Another of the big events held during Memorial Day weekend was the Scottish festival held in Furman University campus (Greenville, SC). Furman University, founded in 1826, is a private liberal arts institution with a rich history of educational excellence – amongst its most famous alumni are Charles Townes (laid the foundations of the laser), John B. Watson (American Psychologist, founder of Behaviorism) and Devyn Noyce (OK, not famous yet, but is a personal family friend that went there and just graduated from Law School; you wait and see what she will accomplish). Furman has beautiful grounds that were a perfect backdrop for this festival (will do a post of it in the near future).
A sample of what we saw:
We were told that the opening ceremonies was something not to be missed. We were glad we listened and got there before it started. The whole opening honored members of the US and Scottish armed forces that lost their lives in service to their country. The sound of bagpipes is simply unique and often gives me goose bumps; yes I got them as the Atlanta Pipes & Drums opened the ceremonies with a Scottish song I heard before, but must admit do not know its name.
The North Atlanta Pipes & Bags is a large band, impeccably dressed delivering strong and powerful sounding sounds. A true crowd pleaser.
This gentleman led the Royal Highland Fusiliers, Second Battalion, Royal Regiment of Scotland serving as the Guard of Honor during the ceremony. Look at the intricate and colorful attire. Must say that the crowd was silent and as respectful as I have ever seen any crowds, as the band the trail this soldier entered the field and positioned itself in front of the honored guests.
One of the Royal Highland Fusiliers had a prosthetic leg; will assume as a result of injury during combat, but not really sure. Regardless, another example of how far technology has come in returning to as normal a life as possible for those suffering amputations.
The stand with the honored guests overseeing the parade and ceremony honoring those who sacrificed their lives serving their country.
Greenville representatives of the Miss America Teen (left) and Miss America (right) took part of the opening ceremonies.
One of the 44 Scottish clans represented during the clan parade. I never knew there were so many Scottish clans. Chose to show this one as it was my mother in-laws family name.
Part of the opening activities also included a parachute accuracy stunt by three veterans. They did a great job landing on the designated spot even though it was a windy day.
The opening activities ended with the folding of the American and Scottish flags; that were later presented to the honored guests. Here we see two naval officers during the folding process; a solemn moment.
The Scottish games involved strength activities such as hurling a 45 lb weight over a bar. Concentration being an important part of this event.
It may look easy, but having witnessing it, must say it is far from it. This event involved gentlemen that were 55 years and older. The younger ones used a 55 lb weight.
This big gentleman was the clear winner within the over 55 group. He looked about 6 feet 5 inches and at least 280 lbs. The bar they had to clear continued to be raised until there was only one that cleared it; he was the winner.
Another game was the famous telephone pole toss. Timing is critical as we saw several that did not time the throw properly; could be dangerous as you are leaning forward expecting the pole to move in the same direction, but it does not.
This one was good toss, but not sure if he was the winner (farthest throw).
Ok, for those wondering why are these guys wearing skirts…
In addition to games there were several groups that got the crowds engaged in old-time activities. This gentleman was part of the group that taught visitors to use the big heavy swords used in the Scottish highlands of old. His get-up looked really authentic.
One of my favorites was the birds of prey exhibition. In addition to hawks and falcons, this horned owl was a “hoot”; always looking for the treat (red spot on the stool is a small piece of raw meat) before making any effort expected by her handler.
Always liked the looks of British cars, so when I heard that the Scottish festival included a British cars exhibition I was really looking forward to it. There were many different brands represented. This 1967 Triumph Herald I remember well.
Never seen this Morgan model. A three wheel two-cylinder car with a very odd look. It has my wife’s attention since it is a convertible, but no, we are not in the market for one.
This Austin Healey 3000 MKIII is one of my all time favorite cars. The classic lines and handling are legendary. In addition to these cars, there were many Jaguars, MG’s, Sunbeams, Land Rovers, etc.
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Have a great week!