MacFest 2007

 

We went in search of our roots on a lovely fall day.Wink was looking into the MacPherson roots of her grandfather.Mark went in search of his grandmotherís father, Raleigh Dwiggins.We found information on the MacPhersons but not the Dwiggins.MacPherson means son of the parson.The venue for our quest was the MacFest in McPherson, Kansas, a Scottish festival which was in essence a mini Renaissance Fair specializing in all things Gaelic.

 

Arrival at the Fair

 

Costumes

 

One of the first things we did was head down to the clan tents and the Genealogy tent.The MacPhersons were not represented this year.They were represented the year before.Maybe next year we will wear MacPherson tartans and get a clan tent!!The men were wearing the kilts.Maybe I could borrow Georgeís!††

 

Clan tent

 

Clan Tent

 

Clan Tent

 

Genealogy Tent with hand accordion in front

 

I hate to admit it, but the Genealogy Tent didnít live up to my expectations.My thought was that they would have live internet with a Scottish database.They did have a lot of books with Scottish history,but there was no way to get the information on our particular backgrounds that I expected to be available.It seems like a simple relational database problem.In spite of my significantly unrealistic expectations, it was fun.They also had maps on the clan locations and books on the tartans.

 

We enjoyed the march of the bag pipe bands.There was a formal opening ceremony on Saturday that we watched.Each pipe band marched in for a formal introduction.I took video of each band.Following the bands was a march of the clans.At the end of the march was the a concert with all of the bands playing together.I recorded a good bit of that.When I get the web space, I will post that if there is interest.There were bands from McPherson, Wichita, Omaha, Houston, Dallas, and Nebraska among others.

 

 

March of the Pipe Bands

 

McPherson Pipe Band with the crest on their drum

 

At the end, there was a parade of the clans.But unfortunately the MacPhersons were not represented.

 

March of the Clans

 

Dowd

 

The one shortcoming of this festival was that the only beer they served was Root Beer albeit home made Root Beer.The net result of this was that there was no requirement that the weapons be strapped down like there is for the Ren Fairs.So there were many well armed people walking around with available weapons.Wink didnít notice but Mark enjoyed it very much.There were as many weapon vendors as music and jewelry vendors.

 

Swords

 

More Swords

 

Chain Mail

 

We ate Highland Beef for lunch.We both got the 1/3 pound burger and we liked it.It was very lean and it tasted just like a venison burger to me.The cattle were smaller than Wink remembers from her trip to Scotland, probably not full grown.

 

Welcome to Oz!!

 

Scottish Highland Cattle

 

Scottish Highland Cattle

 

There was also a British car exhibit.It was fun to see the antique cars.

 

British Car

 

British Cars

 

Our last stop was to listen to some Celtic music before we drove back to Wichita. Cindy Kallet and Grey Larson played a variety of different instruments: flutes, fiddles, hand organs, guitars, and a concertina. Wink bought a couple of their CDís.They had a benefit concert in Wichita also which we went to on Monday.We both enjoyed their music very much.

 

 

Celtic Music

 

 

All in all, it was a very successful adventure. Couldnít have asked for better weather and were pleasantly surprised to find a park with huge trees i.e. shade in Kansas! If it looks like fun let us know and we can plan a fun weekend with friends next summer.

 

More to come.Deer season in a week.

 

Love,

 

Wink and Mark