Scottish Festival at Old Westbury
Andy Murray's Olympic gold got you thinking tennis is a Scottish sport? Think again, lads and lassies.
At the Scottish Games, you'll see the kind of sports that truly start a Scot's blood running, like putting the stone (it's kind of like shot-put) and tossing the sheath (a hay bale). These traditional feats of strength and skill, played on Saturday, are part of what keeps the Scottish Games -- well, Scottish, organizers say.
Although attendance at last year's games was affected by Tropical Storm Irene, good weather brings about 7,000 spectators, says organizer Andrew McInnes of the Clan MacDuff, a Long Island Scottish social organization. For the first time, they'll have two days instead of one to enjoy specialties such as haggis and those stirring bagpipe tunes.
A STIRRING BEGINNING
It starts with a skirl as kilt-clad pipers march down the lawn to open the games. In addition to athletics and pipe bands, the day's highlights include highland dancing, Celtic music performances and, for the kiddies, sack races and caber tosses (the latter using PVC piping instead of tree limbs). On Sunday, the festival starts at 11 a.m. with the Kirkin' (blessing) of the Tartans and, later in the day, the Miss Long Island Scottish Princess Finals. On both days, you can also see dog agility shows, birds of prey and a pirate show.
SCOTTISH SHOPPING AND DINING
Because organizers want to preserve the festival's ethnic roots, McInnes says 80 percent of the merchandise sold by 20 vendors are made in Scotland. The heritage area is the place to buy posters, books and bagpiper CDs. Most of the food sold by 11 vendors will be Scottish, too, so you won't be deprived of your portion of haggis, the Scottish dish made of minced sheep innards, oats and seasonings simmered in the sheep's stomach. (You can also try meat pies and baked beans.) Or, just buy a mug with a Clan MacDuff logo and enjoy free root beer refills all day (this is a non-alcohol event).
Think you might have some Scottish in you? Visit one of the clan tents, to check genealogical records to see if your name matches up with clan history.
As many as 40 British cars 25 years or older will be displayed on the lawn in front of the mansion, including Triumphs, Austin-Healeys, Jaguars and Morgans, and maybe even a Bentley or a Lotus. "We're hoping to get some antique British motorcycles there as well," says car show organizer Peter Burnside of Mineola. He plans to display his own 1972 and 1975 MGB sports cars.
WHEN | WHERE 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday, Old Westbury Gardens, 71 Old Westbury Rd.
INFO 516-747-7589, liscots.org
ADMISSION $15 or $25 for two days ($7 ages 7-17)