On Saturday 13 November 2010, I donned my Clan Henderson kilt, hung the Order of the Chief Medal around my neck, and drove my pickup truck to the Harrison County Fairgrounds to attend the Twenty-Fifth Annual Highlands and Islands Scottish Games and Celtic Music Festival.
Here are four (04) videos I recorded of the Mississippi Magic Irish Dancers performing on the Saint Andrews stage:
Here is a slide show of seven (07) photographs I took at the festival:
Notice the new license plates on my pickup truck, along with the flag of Scotland flying above the cab.
Also notice the United States Army surplus Signal Corps radio rig being operated by the Mississippi Coast Amateur Radio Association (MCARA).
Among the featured events at the festival was full contact jousting by the Knights of Valour.
I was unable to video that event due to the angle from my location which afforded poor visibility.
However, it was probably the most popular event at the festival.
So far as I could determine, I was the only member of Clan Henderson at this festival.
The honored clan was Clan Donald, and I briefly spoke with one of their representatives, comparing my perceptions of previous festivals I had attended in Maryland and Virginia with this one in Mississippi.
Here, there were far less men attired in kilts.
One very skinny teenage boy even wore his really good looking kilt in contemporary gang fashion, hanging down below his buttocks!
I was told that the problem is that an increasing number of the youth in this area have little or no interest in their own heritage, choosing instead to embrace the styles and characteristics of other ethnic groups.
Sadly, it's mostly only the older generation who supports preservation and perpetuation of Scottish, Irish, and Welsh culture.
As I strolled about, a lady asked me, "How do you pronounce that word?", pointing at the sign with "CEILIDH" on it.
I responded, "Kay-Lee", and she answered, "I should have known that since I am Scottish."
According to the schedule, there would be a ceilidh that evening, and more events the following day.
I wanted to stay longer and see more, but I was in a lot of pain, so I decided I'd better get back to my quarters at the Naval Home.
Even writing this post has become difficult, due to the combination of persistant pain, plus the side effects of my medication.
Thus, even though there's much more I could say about the festival, I feel compelled to conclude this post, as this constant pain leaves me utterly exhausted.
But, if you're in the area of Gulfport, Mississippi, please do consider attending future Highlands and Islands events yourself, and see how much fun you'll have!