April at Lyon College—where I did my undergrad work—means a few super-cool things pop up on student/alum calendars: Baccalaureate, Reading day, and *drum roll, please* Scot Fest. Lyon is nuts about everything Scottish. The school’s PC USA affiliated, has its own pipe band, and its own plaid. The pipe band pipes each freshman class into the chapel during matriculation. How effing cool is that?
Scot fest is pretty epic. The weekend opens with all the pipe bands who’ve come to compete massing in Couch Garden; this is the highlight of the whole thing for me!
Vendors sell haggis and meat pies. I have one thing to say about haggis: EW.
The Douglas bakery sells amazing scones and breads and sweets. There are clan booths; some even have genealogical materials for people to look through, which is how my mom found out that my grandmother’s last name appears on some Clan Douglas tax rolls. I’m not a fan of that particular plaid, though, so I’ll stick with Lyon’s, or maybe I’ll appropriate my late (step) granddad’s MacArthur plaid.
My roommate and I always made sure to hit one vendor, a rather jolly lady who always hangs a purple tapestry with Celtic knots all over it by her jewelry tent. Everyone who visits gets 10% off. Someone accidentally stepped on my foot one year—“10% off!” She’s a hoot, and her stuff is gorgeous.
I’m not really sure how to embed video, but here’s a link to the one song I always hear in my head when I think of Scot Fest: “Scotland the Brave.” Excuse me while I grab some whiskey and some shortbread to munch on while I watch youtube clips of highland games events. Slainte!