Art

Scottish Festival and Highland Games Raids Snyder Park 30 Years in a Row

There's a problem that isn't much discussed here in South Florida: the Scots. 

Every year they stage an all out invasion of Snyder Park in Plantation - damn close to the Armory, too!

They act out war games, throwing rocks and stuff. They flaunt convention with their plaid skirts and corrupt the eyes of all young lasses who look upon their bandy knees with lust.

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Sure, it's all meant to seem like a harmless cultural festival, the 30th Annual Scottish Festival and Highland Games. They even charge you $25 for the privilege of attending. 

First, they lull you with sheep dog demonstrations of border collies corralling ewes from one end of the athletic field to the other.

Then the ladies in plaid with laced up ballet-looking shoes come out to twirl and spin and leap through the air. And, quite frankly, it's damn enchanting.  

There's music -- from traditional pipers to modern Celtic rock -- and beers and haggis. (OK, the haggis is somewhat less pleasant than the dancing and the beers. It's like liverwurst but less... more... well, it's like liverwurst but just not.)

But then, they bust out the cabers, the sheafs, and the big rocks and impress you with their feats of strength. Sure it all seems like good sport, until the Scottish guy next to you leans over and says, "You know why they throw tree trunks and heavy rocks?"

"No, I guess I don't." 

"The British wouldn't let them train with weapons. But then, you don't really need a weapon if you're strong enough to throw a tree trunk at someone's head."

A fair point. So, while you might hear about guys with long hair wearing skirts throwing sticks and rocks and think: phbfft, lame. It's actually kind of terrifying. Imagine it -- roving bands of men with muscular thighs roaming the streets forcing you to eat ground up sheep intestines. 

Forget the Britsh, beware the Scots. 

(Disclaimer: The Scots are a wonderful people with a rich and ancient cultural heritage. We highly recommend attending the 31st Annual Scottish Festival next year.)

Visit sassf.org to learn more about the Scottish American Society of South Florida and their events.



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Rebecca McBane is the arts and culture/food editor for New Times Broward-Palm Beach. She began her journalism career at the Sun Sentinel's community newspaper offshoot, Forum Publishing Group, where she worked as the editorial assistant and wrote monthly features as well as the weekly library and literature column, "Shelf Life." After a brief stint bumming around London's East End (for no conceivable reason, according to her poor mother), she returned to real life and South Florida to start at New Times as the editorial assistant in 2009. A native Floridian, Rebecca avoids the sun and beach at all costs and can most often be found in a well-air-conditioned space with the glow of a laptop on her face.
Contact: Rebecca McBane