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Partly Cloudy,88°
Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Farewell to summer with a Highland Fling
(Page 3 of 4)
Old Westbury Gardens once again opens its expansive grounds to the Scottish Games and Highland Gala on Saturday, Aug. 24.
Tossing the Sheaf, the third competitive element, involves flinging a bale of hay over a horizontal pole with a large pitchfork. Three chances are given to each competitor to cleanly go over the bar, without touching it. After all challengers have made their attempts, the bar is raised and all successful competitors move on to the new height. This continues until all but one athlete is eliminated.
“The Scots were really into their feats of strength and it’s fun to watch this stuff,” Kish said. “And of course, the entertainment is terrific too.”
The music and the bands are among the most memorable portions of the day for many. The bagpipes provide a musical background throughout the festival’s many events. Performers include East Meadow’s Meadowgrass Band, with their bluegrass tunes; Highland Reign, a Scottish-American folk rock band, offering a new twist on familiar ‘old country’ tunes; Maidens IV, the popular all-sister ensemble, with a repertoire of Irish-Scottish traditional and original contemporary Celtic music; the acclaimed New York Celtic Dancers, a professional dance company that gives a modern interpretation to traditional highland dance; and the Cameron Scottish Music Ensemble, among others.
Kids can try their skill at their own version of a Caber Toss, using light cabers (actually plastic tubes). A petting zoo, interactive storytelling and a pirate show are among the activities to entertain the younger set. That roving band of pirates, who are back for a second year, is an exciting addition to the entertainment lineup, according to Kish. “To anyone who thought things got too noisy last year, the pirates will be as exuberant as ever,” he remarked.
And, of course, Scotland’s cherished culture is showcased at the Scottish Heritage tent. Visitors can get an up-close look at bagpipes and learn about the country’s many clans, or even search for that long-lost
relative.
When those hunger pangs strike, there are always plenty of Scottish foods available: fish and chips, Scottish pies, sausages, and haggis, among other tasty treats.
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