Sheep, Falconry, Whisky, Kilts: It's ScotsFest Time

Thrilling Highland Games are a major element of the weekend-long event.

What to Know

  • Queen Mary
  • Long Beach
  • Feb. 16 and 17

What's that?

You hear bagpipes in the distance. What do you do?

A) Follow the sound of the bagpipes or B) quickly follow the sound of the bagpipes or C) ask your friend if they know where the bagpipe music is coming from and then follow the bagpipes or D) briefly wonder if you should take bagpipe lessons, while you follow the sound of the bagpipes.

It's quite the alluring aural experience, in short, though not a daily one for most people, sad to say. But there's no bagpipe-based sadness on Feb. 16 and 17, at the Queen Mary, when the ancient instrument shall provide the sternum-vibrating soundtrack to one of the kiltiest larks on this side of the Atlantic.

It's ScotsFestival, the wintertime, weekend-long spectacular that pays adoring homage to Scotland, the very place where the famous ship first came together, back in the middle of the 1930s.

We all can't time travel back to that time, but Long Beach is doable and delightful, as are the many happenings festooning the festivity.

A main and muscular centerpiece to the event? The Highland Games, where hammers shall be tossed, cabers thrown, and fabulous feats of athleticism put on fun-to-watch display.

And speaking of fun to watch? You just knew we'd say "sheepherding demonstration," an ever-popular must-see at the celebration.

Whisky tastings, traditional dance, falconry, the throwing of axes, and chances to admire kilts, and where your own, are also woven through this tartan-covered titan of a to-do.

Tickets and times? You'd find those if you were traveling to Scotland or traveling on the Queen Mary back in the day. And you'll need them for ScotsFestival, so unhand your bagpipes and put down that caber, to read all right now.

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