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PAYSON SCOTTISH FESTIVAL
The Payson Scottish Festival celebrates its 32nd annual Festival in 2016. The Association actually organized 33 years ago in preparation for their first Festival which took place in 1984 in conjunction with the Payson Onion Days. Admission has always been free.
The vendors arrive during the day Friday and prepare to be open for business at the start of the Festival Friday evening when the festivities begin about 5 pm. The first event is the Friday night Ceilidh (kay-lee) from 6:30-9:30 pm at the Bandstand in the Payson City Memorial Park. Performers and dancers share their talents and regale the crowd with Scottish music, song, stories and dance. Look to the Dance Tent for storytelling and other activities on Friday evening. There will be a Strongman competition as well at the Athletic Field on Friday. Look for the Photography Contest booth and sign up!
Athletic, piping and dance competitions begin Saturday morning. Opening Ceremonies are held at noon on Main Street on the west side of the park. Often called Massed Bands, it showcases the participating clans and pipe bands and gives people the chance to take some amazing pictures and experience the thrill of having a large number of pipes filling the air with Scottish music. This year's games will be opened by our new Chieftain, Gordon DeWaal, who will open the games for the next two years. Gordon was our former Athletics Director for several years and we welcome him back. We will miss Bob Gallimore who has been amazing!
All day Saturday there are many events to enjoy. One can peruse the vendor’s booths where all things Scottish and Celtic can be found. The folks tending the clan booths are happy to share their knowledge about their clan and its history. There are additional bandstand performances to enjoy. From morning to evening the sound of the pipes wafts through the park
as the pipers and bands practice and compete. Occasionally you will hear a mighty roar from the athletic field as an athlete makes an impressive toss or throw, often setting new records. In the big top tent, the tartan is flying as bonnie lassies and laddies compete in the Highland Dance competition. Hunger and thirst can be satisfied at the various food booths most of whom sell familiar food and drink. If you care to try something new and different, there are a few food vendors who sell
Scottish delicacies such as Scottish Eggs, Haggis and Fish & Chips.
The day ends at 6pm on Saturday with closing ceremonies beginning at 5pm on the piping field. The bands play as they march onto the field then stand at attention as the winners of the piping competitions are announced and applauded. A lone piper plays Amazing Grace as the Flowers of the Forest list of names is read. (Flowers of the Forest are folks who have recently passed on.) The bands play as they march off the field leaving you filled with memories and a hunger for the next year’s Festival.