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Red River Pipes and Drums play Amazing Grace.
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Red River Smiths demonstrate art of blacksmithing.
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Robert Davis, of Red River Pipes and Drums, enjoys a break with wife Donna and dog Banelli.
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Sandra McClane O'Bryan shows off her tam with her tartan.
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Sheila Hoh, Tartan Festival director, wears her Scottish heritage.
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The Traveling Murphys, a Houston based family band, takes a break from playing their Celtic songs.
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Laim Gordon, left, gets a lesson in short sword fencing.
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Jim Greene demonstrates weaving a tartan.
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Jackson Irish Dancers perform on the Thistle Stage.
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Dr. Allen Cameron, owner of Scotland Farms in Minden, marches to Smithfield Fair's ancient Cameron song.
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Evan McCommon of Princeton tries the Highland Game called Sheaf Toss.
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Festival goer consults World Tartan books to see if his name is Scottish.
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Festival host Brian O'Nunain poses with festival goer Ted Hopkins.
Colorful kilts, tartan plaids, Irish dancing, and caber tossing regaled Tartan Festival goers April 5 at Scotland Farms in Minden. The all-day event hosted by the Scottish Society of the Louisiana Highlands celebrated its 13th year of all things Scottish and Celtic in hopes to spread awareness of local heritage.
Tartan Day, started in the United States on April 6, 1997, largely focuses on helping people discover their Scottish blood. According to American Community Survey 2009, 3.1 percent of the U.S. population has Scottish ancestry. Americans of Scottish descent now outnumber the population of Scotland (2001 U.S. Census). No wonder the first greetings inside the gate were Clan Donald Society members holding Tartan and surname books to help guests discover their ancestry.
The mingling crowd was treated with sounds of traditional bagpipes from Red River Pipes and Drums, and Scottish folk and bluegrass performers throughout the day. Events included a dog show, border collie herding, Gaelic and Welsh language workshops, Highland games of caber (log) tossing and sheaf (hay bag) tossing, hay rides and a Loch Ness Children’s fishing tournament, long sword and short sword fencing demonstrations, and Irish dancing.
All of the Clan booths displayed their own tartans and clothing accessories for sale, consultation books, and friendly information. Other booths enticed shoppers with Scottish crafts and gifts. The unique Highland cattle raised by Dr. Alan Cameron, owner of Scottish Farms, drew much attention from children who could stand at the fence. The hungry got a chance to taste the Highland Beef with “coo” burgers and chili, along with Scotch eggs.
“Tartan Day is great for young and old,” said guest Garrett Holomon. “It’s wonderful to see people enjoy their heritage. Everyone should see a Scottish festival at least once.”
By Datha Hopkins