April 1, 2009 > Scottish Faire returns to Fremont
Scottish Faire returns to Fremont
By Meenu Gupta
Photos By Courtesy of Armand Harris
Listen! Can you hear them ...pipes and drums, harps and guitars, the skirl of bagpipes. Scottish country dances, a rich culture of traditions and the peaceful ambience of country life are coming to quell the din of modern city life. The merriment of this occasion is not only for Scottish folks, but for everybody.
Tartan Day Scottish Faire showcases the best of Scotland and invites everyone to gather in the tranquil backdrop of Ardenwood Historic Farm to enjoy the boisterous festivities, horse-drawn train rides and a tour of the historic Patterson House (included with festival admission). Ardenwood's forge will also be open. See a working farm, animals caressing their new babies, a blacksmith at work, wool spinning and other country delights.
North Carolina was the first state to declare April 6 as Tartan Day. Other states and cities followed, with Newark being the first city in California in 1996. Tartan Day is dedicated to Scottish Americans for outstanding achievements and contributions. "Every line of strength in American history is a line colored with Scottish blood," said President Woodrow Wilson.
Ardenwood hosted one of the first large-scale celebrations in the Bay Area: Tartan Day Scottish Faire in 1997. This will be the 12th annual event at the park hosted by the East Bay Scottish Association (EBSA) and Highlander Productions, Inc. EBSA, formerly Tri-Cities Scottish Association of California (TSAC), was organized in 1993 to promote Scottish heritage and culture for residents in Southern Alameda County and its neighboring communities.
"Tartan Day is a wonderful way to start the spring season," said EBSA President Donna Johnstone. "Families can come out and experience the atmosphere of a culture that not many people are aware of. I have enjoyed learning about my history, music, food and sharing it with my children and grandchildren. They look forward to coming out to the park and talking to the participants and learning about their heritage." There is something for everyone, from the lads and lasses to the young at heart. Walk through history and celebrate Scottish heritage; learn how birds of prey were an important part of Scottish history.
The clans of Gregor, Blair, MacFarlane, Henderson, Cunningham, MacLean, Cian, and Crawford will have booths where visitors with Scottish roots may search for clues to their family history and people can learn about the legacies of several family names that originated in Scotland.
Listen to the Western United States Pipe Band Association Solo Pipe and Drum Competition. Sway to the music of Scottish folksinger and songwriter Peter Daldry and to the music of Siamsa le Cheile, Scottish and Irish dance and music troupe. Harpist Eachdraidh, San Francisco Scottish Fiddlers, Dunsmuir Scottish Country Dancers, Highland Dancers, MacIntosh Pipe Band, and the Fremont Police Honor Guard will grace the occasion with their presence. The fair will be vibrant with wandering dragons, vendors selling Celtic and Scottish wares, food vendors, and children's activities all day long.
Score! will sponsor crafts, games and Scottish Trivia in which every child who participates gets a prize. Watch sword fighting by Highlander Warriors, Kingdom of the Gael, a re-enactment group based in Fremont and founded by Richard Brown in 1999. Vikings of Bjornstad educational group will show how Vikings were part of Scottish history.
"There will also be a raffle at the East Bay Scottish Association booth to raise funds to help keep the event going," said Tartan Day Chairperson Debbie Barnes. "Stop by and check out the wonderful prizes."
Tartan Day Scottish Faire
Saturday, April 4
10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Ardenwood Historic Farm
34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont
Adults $10, 62+ $6, 4-17 $5, 3 and under free