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Lyon to hold 38th annual Arkansas Scottish Festival

Lyon College will hold the 38th annual Arkansas Scottish Festival on the weekend of April 7-9 on the College’s campus.

Established in 1981 as the Ozark Scottish Festival, the festival is emblematic of the College, its Scottish heritage and its Presbyterian connection. 

The festival will kick off on Friday evening with a Celtic concert in the historic Brown Chapel. Admission to the concert is $10. Children under the age of 18 are not required to pay an admission fee.

Gates open at 8 a.m. Saturday. Saturday’s events will begin with a Scottish breakfast at the College’s dining hall followed by music, solo piping and drumming competitions, sheepdog demonstrations, Highland dancing demonstrations, children’s games and a British car show.

Opening ceremonies will begin at 1 p.m. with a parade of massed bands and clans. The parade will comprise all present bands and individual pipers and drummers, as well as the parade of clans, in which representatives of all the attending Scottish clans and societies show their banners.

Afternoon activities include the SW pipe band championships and an awards ceremony. The awards ceremony includes trophies for bands, the Celtic poetry contest, piper of the day, drummer of the day and best clan. A feast and ceilidh (a party with music and dancing) will finish off the day.

Sunday morning's events begin with a traditional Iona outdoor worship service, with a helping of tea and scones available at 8:30 a.m. Highlights of the day include pipe band demonstrations, Celtic music and the Bonniest Knees Contest, which features blindfolded women feeling the knees of kilted men to determine whose are the “bonniest.”

This year, the festival will also host the Tartan Mountain Bike and Trail Race. The Tartan will feature four trail racing events: the 5K trail run, the 10K trail run, the 10-mile mountain bike race and the kilted mile, where competitors run a mile in their kilts. Proceeds from these events will go toward raising money for the maintenance of the College's trail system. For registration fees and event times, visit lyon.edu/trailrace.

The Lyon College Mabee-Simpson Library Book Sale will be held in conjunction with the festival. Proceeds benefit the library. There will be hundreds of books, DVDs and CDs on a variety of subjects available. If you would like to donate books to the sale, simply drop off your donation at the Mabee-Simpson Library on campus. For more information about the book sale or donations, please call 870-307-7206 or email camille.beary@lyon.edu.

Admission to the festival is free. The festival will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 8, and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday, April 9. For more details on events, visit lyon.edu/scotsfest.

Posted by Alexandra Patrono-Smith at 11:30 AM