Archive for Meat on a Stick
Since I live there, it’s probably okay for me to admit that Woodland is not especially well known for its fancy variety of world-renowned festivals… But having just attended the 134th Annual Sacramento Valley Scottish Games & Festival at the Yolo County Fairgrounds, I think this one’s worth writing home about.
Modeled after the traditional gatherings of Scots in their homeland, the weekend-long festival features Olympic-style heavy athletics and Highland dancing, pipe bands and Celtic rock groups, sheep dog trials, historical re-enactments and more.
Just like any festival, there’s plenty of good food and fun, cold beer and faire frills, shows and vendors (although I would have personally appreciated more of those). But unlike many festivals, this one’s got an eye-full of colorful kilts walking around, as well as those manly Scottish games playing out on the open field. This April, there was plenty of sunshine and luckily also plenty of shade beneath ye olde olive trees. And if there’s one thing about Woodland, everything’s pretty easy here: easy to access, easy entry… easy escape.
What began as a simple “Scottish Picnic Competition” in a park is now what allows the club to “benefit” the public through education, scholarships and charity. McKinley Park in East Sacramento was the site of the first Sacramento Scottish Games & Gathering on June 16, 1877. The festival moved to the 55-acre Yolo County Fairgrounds in 1997 due to it having more elbow room, ample parking and helpful fairground staff.
The event is hosted by the Caledonian Club of Sacramento, a nonprofit organization established in 1876. Club membership is open to any one of Scottish birth or descent, their kin, and to any person interested in the rich and historic traditions of Scotland. They host other annual events, including the Sacramento Tartan Ball in November.
Keep the Sacramento Scottish Games in mind next year; it’s a magical day for anyone interested in Scottish and Celtic arts, culture and history – or anyone just a fan of festivals, period. It takes place the last full weekend of every April.
http://www.saccallie.org, (916) 557-0764.