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20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival draws crowd

  • Pipe and drum bands from across New England perform during opening ceremonies at the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Pipe and drum bands from across New England perform during opening ceremonies at the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Sue Maxwell, a member of the Maxwell clan from Marion, Mass., responds during the clan roll call at the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park.JERREY ROBERTS

    Sue Maxwell, a member of the Maxwell clan from Marion, Mass., responds during the clan roll call at the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park.JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Members of The Bell Family perform during the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Members of The Bell Family perform during the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Margaret Brown, of Holyoke, plays traditional music with the Pioneer Valley Harpers during the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park. Five of the group's 80-plus members performed.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Margaret Brown, of Holyoke, plays traditional music with the Pioneer Valley Harpers during the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park. Five of the group's 80-plus members performed.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Clan Village at the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park. <br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Clan Village at the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • A pair of shoppers look at tartan scarves during the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park. <br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    A pair of shoppers look at tartan scarves during the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Laura Flechsig, of Montgomery, spreads a cracker with haggis, a traditional Scottish food, during the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park.JERREY ROBERTS

    Laura Flechsig, of Montgomery, spreads a cracker with haggis, a traditional Scottish food, during the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park.JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Scott Sideleau, of Tiverton, R.I., throws a 16-pound stone in the Highland Athletic Games competition during the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Scott Sideleau, of Tiverton, R.I., throws a 16-pound stone in the Highland Athletic Games competition during the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Mike Zolkiewicz, of Chicopee, throws a 28-pound weight during the Highland Athletic Games competition at the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Mike Zolkiewicz, of Chicopee, throws a 28-pound weight during the Highland Athletic Games competition at the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Mackenzie Tawa, of Brossard, Quebec, competes in the Highland Dance Competition during the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park. <br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Mackenzie Tawa, of Brossard, Quebec, competes in the Highland Dance Competition during the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Anna Husson, of Arlington, competes in the Highland Dance Competition during the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park. <br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Anna Husson, of Arlington, competes in the Highland Dance Competition during the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • A group of dancers perform during opening ceremonies at the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    A group of dancers perform during opening ceremonies at the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Mike Zolkiewicz, of Chicopee, who holds the world record for throwing a 56-pound weight over the bar, tries unsuccessfully to break his record of 19 feet 1 inch during the Highland Games Competition at the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park. JERREY ROBERTS

    Mike Zolkiewicz, of Chicopee, who holds the world record for throwing a 56-pound weight over the bar, tries unsuccessfully to break his record of 19 feet 1 inch during the Highland Games Competition at the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park. JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Guy Sheldon, center, and Andrew Easley, of Historic Highlanders, talk about period weapons while holding reproductions of them during the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park. Their living history presentations also include cooking, wool spinning and weaving.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Guy Sheldon, center, and Andrew Easley, of Historic Highlanders, talk about period weapons while holding reproductions of them during the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park. Their living history presentations also include cooking, wool spinning and weaving.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Andrew Flewellen-Gore, of Chelmsford, lifts his kilt for a blindfolded judge during the "bonniest knees" contest at the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park. <br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Andrew Flewellen-Gore, of Chelmsford, lifts his kilt for a blindfolded judge during the "bonniest knees" contest at the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • The final contestants in the "bonniest knees" contest lift their kilts for audience response during the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park. JERREY ROBERTS

    The final contestants in the "bonniest knees" contest lift their kilts for audience response during the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park. JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • A group of people applaud during opening ceremonies at the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    A group of people applaud during opening ceremonies at the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • The Rhode Island Highlanders perform during opening ceremonies at the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    The Rhode Island Highlanders perform during opening ceremonies at the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • A group of dancers perform during opening ceremonies at the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    A group of dancers perform during opening ceremonies at the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Pipe and drum bands from across New England perform during opening ceremonies at the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Pipe and drum bands from across New England perform during opening ceremonies at the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Members of the Catamount Pipe Band perform during opening ceremonies at the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Members of the Catamount Pipe Band perform during opening ceremonies at the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Kevin Kneeland, of Worcester, fires a salute during opening ceremonies at the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Kevin Kneeland, of Worcester, fires a salute during opening ceremonies at the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Cass Wright, a member of the MacIntyre clan from Bellows Falls, Vt., shouts "1000 years in argyle" during the clan roll call at the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

    Cass Wright, a member of the MacIntyre clan from Bellows Falls, Vt., shouts "1000 years in argyle" during the clan roll call at the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park.
    JERREY ROBERTS Purchase photo reprints »

  • Pipe and drum bands from across New England perform during opening ceremonies at the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Sue Maxwell, a member of the Maxwell clan from Marion, Mass., responds during the clan roll call at the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park.JERREY ROBERTS
  • Members of The Bell Family perform during the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Margaret Brown, of Holyoke, plays traditional music with the Pioneer Valley Harpers during the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park. Five of the group's 80-plus members performed.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Clan Village at the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park. <br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • A pair of shoppers look at tartan scarves during the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park. <br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Laura Flechsig, of Montgomery, spreads a cracker with haggis, a traditional Scottish food, during the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park.JERREY ROBERTS
  • Scott Sideleau, of Tiverton, R.I., throws a 16-pound stone in the Highland Athletic Games competition during the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Mike Zolkiewicz, of Chicopee, throws a 28-pound weight during the Highland Athletic Games competition at the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Mackenzie Tawa, of Brossard, Quebec, competes in the Highland Dance Competition during the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park. <br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Anna Husson, of Arlington, competes in the Highland Dance Competition during the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park. <br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • A group of dancers perform during opening ceremonies at the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Mike Zolkiewicz, of Chicopee, who holds the world record for throwing a 56-pound weight over the bar, tries unsuccessfully to break his record of 19 feet 1 inch during the Highland Games Competition at the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park. JERREY ROBERTS
  • Guy Sheldon, center, and Andrew Easley, of Historic Highlanders, talk about period weapons while holding reproductions of them during the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park. Their living history presentations also include cooking, wool spinning and weaving.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Andrew Flewellen-Gore, of Chelmsford, lifts his kilt for a blindfolded judge during the "bonniest knees" contest at the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park. <br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • The final contestants in the "bonniest knees" contest lift their kilts for audience response during the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park. JERREY ROBERTS
  • A group of people applaud during opening ceremonies at the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • The Rhode Island Highlanders perform during opening ceremonies at the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • A group of dancers perform during opening ceremonies at the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Pipe and drum bands from across New England perform during opening ceremonies at the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Members of the Catamount Pipe Band perform during opening ceremonies at the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Kevin Kneeland, of Worcester, fires a salute during opening ceremonies at the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS
  • Cass Wright, a member of the MacIntyre clan from Bellows Falls, Vt., shouts "1000 years in argyle" during the clan roll call at the 20th annual Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival Saturday at Look Park.<br/>JERREY ROBERTS

The drone of bagpipes and the rhythmic beat of snare drums could be heard in the early morning as bands prepared for musical ceremonies and competitions. Lone pipers played as they strolled down sidewalks and drum majors rehearsed their routines, marching and flourishing their gleaming maces.

The festival took over the park for the day, turning the grounds into one huge Celtic encampment complete with Highland dancers, harpers, animal exhibitions and Scottish athletic games. Fifteen vendors were also on hand selling traditional Scottish foods, jewelry, artwork, clothes and music.

“The purpose of the festival is to celebrate and continue the Scottish heritage, and to honor that heritage by bringing our culture to the general public,” Peter Langmore, Glasgow Lands Committee chairman, said.

Representatives of 21 clans attended the festival, setting up individual tents where visitors could stop in and learn about the history of the family names.

“It is a lot of work the day before and the day of, but the Glasgow Lands Committee has been doing this for so long now, they have got it down to a science,” Look Park Executive Director Shawn Porter said.

One of the most anticipated features of the festival was the elaborate opening ceremony that featured several bands, playing together as one on the parade ground. Dancers then joined in, forming a long line for a mass jig. Finally the clans took the field, parading in with their colorful family banners and flags.

State Sen. Stanley Rosenberg, D-Amherst, spoke at the ceremony, telling the crowd that he had just returned from Scotland where there is currently a robust debate on Scottish sovereignty.

In 2014, the Scots will be able to vote on a referendum question asking whether or not Scotland should be an independent country, or remain under the governance of the United Kingdom.

He also made reference to how the Scots have contributed to the formation and building of the U.S.

“Some of the ideas in our most important documents, the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, came directly from Scotland and from Scottish philosophers,” Rosenberg said. “Whether new to this country, or from families going back generations, we value your presence and all of the contributions that the Scottish people have made to this country.”

Mathew Montague of Westhampton watched the ceremony with his 11-year-old son, Kyle.

“We come every year. I love watching all the bands in the ceremony,” Montague said. “We plan on buying some trinkets and getting some food before we leave. I like the meat pies but I am not a fan of the haggis!”

On the other side of the park, Joseph and Charity Bopp from Albany, N.Y., rested in the shade of their canopy while watching the dance competitions. They attended the festival with their daughters, 6-year-old Hannah and 10-year-old Erika, both of whom were dance contestants.

Charity Bopp said that dance was a way to carry on the culture. “I used to dance a long time ago. Now it is passed down to them,” she said.

Meanwhile, over at the athletic games, 22 athletes, both men and women, were competing in six different games of strength, which included tossing a 25-pound stone called a Braemar, a “sheaf toss” in which pitchforks are used to throw bales of hay, a hammer toss, and of course a caber toss.

“There has been a great turnout, more than we actually expected,” co-director of athletics Al Wilder said. “The festival has definitely gotten much bigger and more organized over the years.”

According to Langmore, the first Glasgow Lands festival was held in Brimfield in 1994 as a fundraiser to restore a historic church in that town.

“It was supposed to be a one time event, but it was so popular we decided to keep doing it,” Langmore said.

The festival spent five years in Brimfield before moving to Stanley Park in West Springfield, where it spent five more years. “We grew out of Stanley Park and have been at this beautiful park for the last 10 years,” Langmore said. “The first year we had three bands, now we have 17,” he said.

Langmore said the Glasgow Lands festival is a nonprofit organization and money raised at the festival goes to charitable organizations such as the Forum House in West Springfield, which serves adults with mental illness and prepares them for employment.

“I liked the bands and the big Braveheart swords and the herding dogs the best,” said 8-year old Teddy Munroe of Keene, N.H. “I might even consider wearing a kilt, too!”

While the festival officially closed at 5 p.m., musical entertainment continued into the evening, featuring the bands Prydein and Rathkeltair.

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