Sunday, April 26, 2009

Highland Fling!

Our booth at the festival

Greenberry House Booth at Highland Games Festival in Ararat, Virginia

Everyone can always tell when I've been demonstrating at an outdoor event.  Inevitably I get sunburned, and usually it's just one arm, or half my face or part of the back of my neck.  Comes of sitting under a pop-up tent in the middle of a field and forgetting to move with the shade!

Highland Games Festival, Ararat, Virginia

Jamestown Pipe and Drums

I don't do as many festivals as I used to, now that I have the shop to tend.  But this festival is held just twelve miles away, in Ararat, Virginia, which is still in Patrick County.  So the SO helped me pack up the car and Mom volunteered to look after the shop while we headed down Squirrel Spur road.

 Preparing to thow a big pole in the air

Gonna toss the caber now

Oddly enough, it was warmer at home before daylight than it was when we got down the mountain to set up!  Of course, I'm sure everyone knows that part of getting ready for a festival is getting up in the dark so you have time to walk and feed three dogs, feed and at least talk to three cats with a couple of minutes cuddling time in there somewhere, water and feed the German Angoras (always hoping it will get to be daylight before you have to go to the barn but it never is) and make sure Dad has his medication for the day.  Then the car has to be loaded up in a hurry because the SO didn't get back with it until 11 PM the night before.  Naturally I forgot important things, like business cards and the banner for the booth!

We managed to get set up in plenty of time, of course, and found enough business cards tucked in here and there around the car and my many knitting and spinning bags to get through the day.  As always, it was lovely to be able to talk to so many people.  Since it was a "home" show, I knew a lot of the spectators.  Quite a few were from Meadows of Dan.  There were lots of visitors from North Carolina, though, so it was worth being able to hand out cards to some new spinners and to several knitters and crocheters.

We had a front row seat for the games, just across the open field, and it was fascinating to watch the different events.  There were lots of weight challenges...those highland lads are strong!  From watching for a bit, though, it looks as though there was a good deal of skill involved as well as strength.  The crowd favorite was the caber toss, I think, but I thought the sheaf toss was pretty interesting, and required a good bit of skill.  There are more pictures of the games at my flickr site.

Spinners and weavers demonstrating at the games

Reynolds Homestead Weavers Guild

It was nice to see these folks out on such a beautiful day at the festival.  They are members of the Reynolds Homestead Weavers Guild, and a very talented group.  Fiber arts were well-represented at the festival!

Although I didn't get a chance to check it out, I could hear music most of the day, in addition to the amazing pipe and drum corp that marched by us and performed out in the field.  There was a large tent with a stage and another tent for the audience so that they could listen to Celtic and other music in comfort!  There were also lots of clan tents, food vendors and a couple of places to find traditional-styled clothing!

Scottish Highland cattle

Black Highland Cow

My posts are rarely complete without a picture of an animal!  I fell in love with the look of these creatures long ago.  Wonder how hard the wool would be to spin?

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