Tartan Day festivities celebrate Scots Heritage Month

GREENSBORO — Descendants of Scotland were vital to the early development of North Carolina and the nation, and the Triad Highland Games will recognize those leaders during Tartan Day ceremonies at noon Friday, April 4, at McDonald Plaza in front of the Melvin Municipal Building. The City Council Chambers is reserved in the event of rain.

The event will feature bagpipe music and the reading of the new North Carolina bill declaring April as Scots and Scots-Irish Heritage Month in North Carolina — as well as a request for a national proclamation.

Rep. Nelson Cole, D-Rockingham, the sponsor of the North Carolina bill, will be present, as will James Murray of Reidsville, who has been working for seven years to get the nation and individual states to proclaim Scots and Scots-Irish Heritage Month.

The new North Carolina resolution was ratified July 31, 2007, and this is its first Tartan Day. It notes that the Scottish Declaration of Arbroath, from 1320, served as a model for the U.S. Declaration of Independence, and that almost half the signers of the U.S. Declaration were of Scottish descent.

More than 27 million Americans can trace their roots back to Scotland or the Scottish plantations of Northern Ireland — the homeland of the Scots-Irish, it says. This state was the primary destination of many Scots and Scots-Irish immigrants, particularly in the late 1700s.

“If you go back and look at history, the Scots and Scots-Irish had tremendous influence on the development of this country,” Cole said. He called the passage of the bill “most appropriate.” Murray noted that March is already designated nationally as Irish Heritage Month.

Murray and Ann Jackson, president of the Triad Highland Games, said that the organization will conduct a reception the evening of April 4 at Fuddruckers Pub, 4411 W. Wendover Avenue, to celebrate Tartan Day and Scots and Scots-Irish Heritage Month.

Coupons to be passed out at the noon festivities will be honored that evening at Fuddruckers, Jackson said. A portion of the profits from all sales will be donated to the games, she said.

The 10th annual Triad Highland Games will take place May 2-3 at Bryan Park off U.S. 29 northeast of Greensboro. It is a full-scale Scottish games with heavy athletics, music, dance, food, genealogy and clan tents, border collie demonstrations, fly casting, a military appreciation ceremony and much more.

More information on the games can be found at www.triadhighlandgames.org or by calling (336) 431-8482.