Union County, Blairsville, Georgia Holiday-Winter 2018-2019 - Page 28

Page 28 Union County GA Magazine . Holiday & Winter 2018-19 . www.unioncountymag.com Blairsville Scottish Festival 2018 The Blairsville Scottish Festival & Highland Games held the 15th annual event at Meeks Park this year. It takes place the first weekend in June. The Blairsville Scottish Festival & Highland Games has been designated as a Top 20 Event by the Southeast Tourism Society for 10 consecutive years. The idea for a Scottish Festival began during a meeting when many discussed ideas for an event that would bring tourists to Union County during the Spring. Three people took the lead of researching and spent two years creating it. Everything was in place for the first Blairsville Scottish Festival & Highland Games and so it began. The event operated under the Blairsville - Union County Chamber of Commerce for nine years. The event incorporated on its own organization six years ago. The event is one of the two largest and most attended festivals in Union County. No one in the beginning of creating the event had any vision that the event would become as big as it is or as popular as it is. A major reason for the success is the venue, Meeks Park. Shady areas for clans to set up their tents. Plenty of shade for food vendors. A creek nearby. Spacious area for athletic events. Large field for the Opening Ceremony. Plenty of parking areas. Most other Scottish festivals everyone is set up on ball fields in the sun and no relief from the heat. Another plus is the local people who By Norm Cooper Editor, Union County GA Magazine support it. When tourists come, they meet the friendly people of the area who attend the event. A very impressive part of the festival is the Opening Ceremony at Noon on Saturday. All the bands join together as one unit and provide pipe and drum instruments. It is called a “mass band” and march onto the field. They play while the Clans pass a review tent. Each Clan was introduced as they pass holding a banner for their clan. Honor guard, singing, prayer in Scottish tradition and more are part of Opening Ceremony. The Highland Games are now sanctioned for athletes who can earn points as they compete. A few years ago new world records were Sons of Confederate Veterans Defending History Since 1896 The David W. Payne Camp #1633 Sons of Confederate Veterans holds its Monthly Meetings in the Community Room of United Community Bank in Blairsville the 2nd Thursday of every month at 7 p.m. Meetings are of a Historical Nature Public is Welcome to Attend United Community Bank Community Room is located on Hwy. 515 across highway from Chick-Fil-A / Fatz / CVS established in Blairsville. Children’s activities are a major part of the festival. Entertainment takes place in the big tent. The music and dance is Scottish, not Irish. It is typical to see a few people scattered throughout the park playing instruments. Food with Scottish connections and numerous vendors are found in Meeks Park. Falconry, Scottish dancing, herding sheep dog demonstrations, violinists, bagpipe demonstrations, and much more add to the event. Sunday morning features a “Kirkin O Tartans Service”, a religious service much as it was in Scotland during the 1600s or in the United Scenes at the 2018 Blairsville Scottish Festival and Highland Games at Meeks Park photos/NormC States Appalachians in the 1700s. The festival makes donations to the local fire department and scholarships to students attending two colleges. The website for the event is www.blairsvillescottishfestival.com. Where Quality Is Our Reputation Full Color Printing Wide Format Copies Business Cards Window Lettering Vehicle Lettering Color Copies Lighted Signs Letterheads 706-745-3543 Envelopes Newsletters 77 Young Harris Street, Blairsville, Ga Invoices Postcards Call for a Free Quote 4 x 8 Signs Magnetics Your Photos On Canvas Banners, Signs Much more email: busybeeprintingandsigns@gmail.com Union County 706-439-6050 Transportation Service Rides to & from doctor, grocery store, pharmacy, bank, school, anywhere inside Union County. Best advantage, call at least the day before to make an appointment for the van to pick you up. State-of-the-art 10 passenger, air-conditioned, fully equipped with hydraulic chair lifts and is handicap accessible. First mile is $3.00 Each additional mile 50c Monday - Friday 8am to 4:30pm Holidays Excluded 76B Hunt Martin Street, Suite 104, Blairsville, GA 30512