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Scots invade Wise County Fairgrounds

By Richard Greene | Published Friday, May 11, 2018
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The humming of bagpipes and the blast of a cannon started the Calling of the Clans Friday at the Texas Scottish Festival and Highland Games
As the dozens of kilt-wearing clans with their banners began marching from the Clan Village into the arena at the Wise County Fairgrounds, Kevin Richardson led the way, carrying the Scottish flag.
“I happened to be in the right place at the wrong time,” joked Richardson, who made the trip in from Alpine for the festival that will run through Sunday in Decatur.
This is the first time for the festival of music, food and games to be held in Wise County after 32 years in Arlington.
“The county is really excited to have you here,” said Wise County Judge J.D. Clark during the Calling of the Clans ceremony. “As someone that’s a Scotsman myself, I’m looking forward to the weekend.”
Scottish Affairs Counsellor to North America Joni Smith made the trip in from British embassy in Washington D.C. Smith thanked the patrons at the festival for passing on Scottish traditions.
“When there’s surveys done, there’s as many as 30 million people in America that claim to have Scottish or Scottish Irish heritage. When the actual census is done, what it turns out is there is 10 million,” Smith said. “What it tells is there 20 million Americans that are not Scottish but want to be. I’m happy to take every single one of you.”
Pam Farley of Duncanville joined the Calling of the Clans with members of the Clan Lindsay. She has been attending the festival for seven years after learning of her Scottish ancestry.
“[The best part] is connecting with other members of your clan that you don’t know, but in five minutes you’re automatically family,” Farley said. “We didn’t know we were Scottish until about 10 years ago when my aunt remembered her grandmother’s name was Rosanna Lindsay.”
From there Farley and her sister connected the dots to their Scottish lineage and are now officers in the national organization.
Among those marching into the arena, Terry Smith of Fort Worth attracted attention, carrying his two-handed, 22-pound Highlander Claymore sword.
“The hammer throw was how they practiced the Claymore when they weren’t allowed to have it,” Smith said.
The festival starts back up at 9 a.m. Saturday with games, dancing and music. For information and a full schedule, go to texasscots.com.

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