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April 10, 2012 > The Scottish are coming

The Scottish are coming

By Julie Grabowski
Photos By Courtesy of Richard Brown

Tartan will be the dress of the day when the Tartan Day Scottish Fair descends on Ardenwood Historic Farm Saturday, April 14. A plaid patterned cloth synonymous with Scotland, tartans identify clans, regional districts, regiments, and royalty and are used for decoration and clothing, including the iconic Scottish kilt. While these are an obvious element of the day, the fair serves a purpose far greater than what everyone is wearing.

Presented by the East Bay Scottish Association and East Bay Regional Park District, Tartan Day first came to Ardenwood in 1997 as a means of recognizing and celebrating Scottish independence and history, as well as the contributions of Scottish Americans to the United States. April 6 is the day officially recognized as National Tartan Day, which commemorates the signing of the Declaration of Arbroath in 1320, asserting Scottish sovereignty and independence from English rule.

America has always served as a beacon of hope for those from other nations looking for a better life, and the Scottish are among the many who have made that transitional leap. Over eleven million Americans claim Scottish and Scotch-Irish heritage, positioning them as the eighth largest ethnic group in the United States.

The Ardenwood event welcomes clans, Scottish enthusiasts, and those looking to learn about another culture to a thorough and hearty celebration of all things Scottish. Enjoy bagpipe bands, fiddlers, harpists, and folk singers, and kick up your heels with Highland and Scottish Country dancing. Be sure to arrive in time for the Western United States Pipe Band Association (WUSPBA) solo pipe and drum competition in the morning. There will be historic re-enactments, Highland athletics, Scottish birds of prey demonstrations, as well as clan booths, and craft and jewelry vendors.

The wee ones can frolic in the special Children's Glen where they can take part in Highland games, a traditional haggis toss, arts and crafts, storytelling, and maybe even discover a fairy or two.

Forgo the homemade picnic basket for a lunch of traditional Scottish food and other assorted treats. Adults 21 and over can sample the available refreshments in the ale garden.

While at Ardenwood, take time to enjoy horse-drawn train rides, view the historic Patterson House, watch the blacksmith at work, and pay a visit to the farm animals.

Over 1,700 people turned out for last year's Tartan Day. Don't let this fun and festive opportunity, to live a slice of the Scottish life, pass you by.

Tickets are $10 for adults, $6 for seniors (62 and up), $5 for children (4-17), and free for kids three years and under. Parking is free and the site is wheelchair accessible. No pets are allowed in the park. Tickets are sold at the gate only and there will be no admission after 4:30 p.m. For more information, call Ardenwood at (510) 544-2797 or visit

Tartan Day Scottish Fair
Saturday, April 14
10 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Ardenwood Historic Farm
34600 Ardenwood Blvd., Fremont
(510) 544-2797
Tickets: $5 - $10

Entertainment Schedule:

Main stage (Deer Park Lawn):
10:05 a.m. -10:45 a.m. - Chris Caswell (harpist)
11 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. - Opening Ceremony
11:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. - Sligo Rags
12:30 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. - Pladdohg
1:30 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. - San Francisco Scottish Fiddlers
2:15 p.m. - 2:30 p.m. - Raffle Drawing
2:30 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. - Pladdohg
3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. - Sligo Rags
4:40 p.m. - 5 p.m. - Closing Ceremony

Dancing stage (Tennis Court/Patterson House):
10:05 a.m. -10:45 a.m. - New World Scottish Dancers
11 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. - Opening Ceremony at the Main Stage
11:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. - San Francisco Scottish Fiddlers
12:30 p.m. - 1:15 p.m. - Red Thistle Dancers
1:30 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. - Chris Caswell (harpist)
2:30 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. - New World Scottish Dancers
3:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m. - Red Thistle Dancers

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