Dublin Park, Madison, Alabama
16, 2001, I drove from Atlanta, GA to northern Alabama and it was a
beautiful day with the most brilliant blue sky Iíve seen in a while!
Now, armed only with internet directions, I ended up seeing a lot of
countryside, was directed to the wrong place, and was late, but enjoyed
the drive. This area of Alabama is a study in contrasts. Itís
farmland, with vegetable farmers parked on the road selling their
Madison is a suburb of Huntsville and
found I was in the middle of NASA territory! A rocket loomed up beside
the freeway! Marshall Space Flight Center, Space Camp, Rocket Museum and
Redstone Arsenal are right by the road!
Dublin Park is a fine setting for this
festival. Thereís plenty of shade, a good seat to watch the athletic
competitions and performers, and good Southern hospitality! The Honored
Clan of these games was one I belong to: Ross. Bob Ross, Southeast
Regional Commissioner of Clan Ross USA, was there as were the friendly
Ross crowd. Thanks to Dee and everyone for the nice seat and lunch! It was
There were a few clan tents to visit, Wales
was represented there, too! They were promoting Wales and the language of
the Cymru. Classes to learn the language are in Atlanta. I also found a
tent for American Scots to sign up and support full Independence for
Scotland! Where else but America for Independence?
There was entertainment galore! The Full
Moon Ensemble performed with their absolutely beautiful music. Grand
Masters Fiddle Champion Daniel Carwile plays fiddle and mandolin for them.
The vocals were excellent as always!
On hand were the Wild Hares who played
Irish music, Flora McDonald Gammon who sang and interviewed a Cherokee
Chief of Scots/Indian descent on our similarities and differences, Richard
Van Valkenburgh who sang ballads (and heís a Huntsville native), and a
Celtic band that played as well as any professional show Iíve ever seen!
Of course, there were pipers: The
Montgomery, Alabama Pipe Band and the Glenastar Pipe Band. If you speak
Gaelic, you know Glenastar means "Space Valley" and is quite
appropriate for Huntsville!
The Tennessee Valley Scottish Country
Dancers and the Huntsville Highlanders Dancers were on hand to demonstrate
all styles. I managed to catch a couple of Irish dancers in motion.
The Heavy Athletic events were on a ball
field. There were competitions in the Hammer Toss, the Caber Toss, the
Sheaf Toss, the Weight Toss for height and for distance (28 & 56 lb)
and the Clachneart or "Stone of Strength": more or less a
shotput with a stone weighing 16 to 28 lbs. Judging this event was Herman