ScotsFestival: The Queen Mary Kilts Up | NBC Southern California

ScotsFestival: The Queen Mary Kilts Up

Revelers remember where the big ship was built with music, drink.

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    Queen Mary
    Sheep-herding demos? They're one of the much-attended, much-anticipated elements of the Queen Mary's annual ScotsFestival. The bagpipes sound in Long Beach on Saturday, Feb. 14 and Sunday, Feb. 15.

    It's a common question to ask, and be asked, around Southern California, and the answers given are as plentiful as places on the planet: "Where are you from?"

    While saying "right here" does happen, and meeting a longtime local is a treat (they always have flavorful anecdotes to share), other locations abound, including Clydebank in Scotland.

    That's where the Queen Mary hails from -- nope, we weren't restricting the question to humans only -- and Scotland receives its festive due as the ocean-liner's birthplace each February.

    ScotsFestival & International Highland Games XXII can't transport the hundreds in attendance across the Atlantic for the weekend, but Scotland can alight in Long Beach for two days, complete with bagpipes, athletics, and those always cooed-over, camera-ready sheep-herding demos.

    The sheep baa and the bagpipes thrumble and drams of whisky pour at the landmark boat, or rather just adjacent to it, on Saturday, Feb. 14 and Sunday, Feb. 15. Dancing, harp music, knighting ceremonies, the tossing of cabers, and the Grand Parade of Clans & Bands are part of the tartan-hued doings.

    Speaking of tartans, surely you know this fun fact: The Queen Mary, which has called California its forever home since 1967, has a regal tartan that was designed in its honor. Dominating color? Why blue, of course, for the ocean.

    You don't have to wear a kilt or tam o'shanter to gain entry to ScotsFestival, but you will have to pay admission. It's eighteen dollars for a one-day general ticket, but there are various levels with different happenings attached. Oh, and stay-over packages, too. The Queen Mary does possess numerous rooms that include beds, after all.

    That's because she once sailed the world's waters, and passengers stayed aboard for weeks at a time. The Queen's story is definitely an international one, through and through, though if you were to query where she's from, and she could answer, the River Clyde in Scotland is what you'd hear.

    Though perhaps the Queen Mary does speak. Ever heard that big, big horn? You don't even need to linger next to the tall stacks to feel its chest-thrumbling vibrations (a thrumble that has a cousin in how a bagpipe sounds, which is a charming coincidence).

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