Scottish Highland Festival in Florida
Gilbert Park, Mount Dora, FL, USA
Scottish Highland Festival in Florida Mount Dora Reviews
A little piece of Scotland in Florida Nov 16, 2015
Last Saturday we went to Mount Dora a city in central Florida. It is a small city with a population of around 12,500. I had been there before a couple of years ago, but this time it was for a special event held there annually for the past several years, the Scottish Highland Festival.
The festival was held at one of the city parks called Gilbert Park. Apparently, a lot of Americans with Scottish ancestry live in and around Lake County where Mount Dora is located, so it's no surprise that Mount Dora hosts this event every year. In fact, the city's twin sister is a town called Forres in Scotland.
We arrived there a little after 10 am, just in time to see the sheep herding demonstration using the border collies which are commonly known as sheepdogs. It was such fun to see this show. The sheepdogs are well trained and knew exactly what to do whenever the flock went astray, in this case from the trailer which doubled as a sheep pen. These border collies are highly intelligent dogs and seemed tireless as they went about their business herding the sheep. Like myself, the other people watching the demonstration thoroughly enjoyed it.
Several bands played both modern and traditional Scots music on the festival grounds throughout the day. There were also many Food and Drink stalls serving various Scottish traditional food and beverages, including a beer station. Needless to say, a lot of festival participants and performers were dressed in the customary Scottish attire with both ladies and gentlemen wearing kilts.
We watched a beer keg tossing competition in which big burly men in kilts hurled the kegs as high as possible over a bar tied to two poles. I believe this event is part of the original Highland Games in Scotland. It was quite interesting to see the heavyweight "athletes" heaving and puffing as they attempted to re-enact this vigorous sport!
The highlight of the festival was the Grand Tartan parade of various 'Scottish' clans with their colors, plus the Sounds of Scotland Pipe Band providing marvelous music on their bagpipes as they marched past the viewing stand. The parade started off with the Mount Dora Police Honor Guard in full dress uniform followed by the clan representatives, some with their four legged friends.
Entrance is free. There is also a children's playground at the park.
During the parade a reporter from the local newspaper noticed me and came up to interview me. I suppose I was easily noticeable as I was the only Asian among all the spectators. When she found out I was from Myanmar she seemed quite excited and asked me many questions beginning with why I was there. I have yet to find out whether the interview was published in her paper.
As I've never been to Scotland, I would like to say this festival was a lot of fun and entertainment suitable for the entire family, as it brought a little bit of the Scottish atmosphere over here in the United States, and I hope that one day I will have the opportunity to travel to Scotland The Brave!
5 / 5 TravBuddies found this review helpful/trustworthy
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