Festival Celebrated Scottish Culture

By Shelly Williams

Fred Stewart has been helping with largest Scottish festival in the Midwest since 1998. In that time, his favorite aspect of the festival hasn't changed.

“I started out in the clan area. I was president of the Clan Stewart Society of America,” he said. “Most people come to the clans looking for family, and that’s just always been my favorite part.”

Stewart is the operations director, the vendors chairman and the clan man for the Texas Scottish Festival and Highland Games in Arlington.  

The festival took place May 3-5 at the Maverick Stadium on the University of Texas at Arlington campus, featuring more than 50 vendors ranging from handmade jewelry to whiskey and beer.

“It is a family affair, even though we have alcohol. It’s kid friendly,” Stewart said.

He said the festival offers something for everyone.

“We have athletics, we have a rock tent, a traditional music tent, a beer pub and two beer tents and a kids area,” Stewart said. “If it’s Scottish, we have it. If you can’t find something you like, then you’re not looking hard enough.”

Along with the typical athletic events such as the caber toss, where people compete by throwing a pole end over end to perform the straightest throw, rugby was a new component this year.

The festival hosted a few rugby competitions by a local rugby club May 4 and 5, Stewart said.

The festival also featured several music acts, with the headlining band being The Killdares.

Stewart described them as “a rock band with bagpipes.”

“You’ll never go back to regular rock again,” he said.