How you can travel to Scotland on the Queen Mary this weekend
The Queen Mary is celebrating its roots with bagpipes, kilts, sports and haggis as the 25th annual Scots Festival and International Highland Games return to the ship.
The festival, set for Saturday, Feb. 17, and Sunday, Feb. 18, celebrates the culture and history of Scotland through games, food, music and scotch.
It’s a fitting celebration for a ship that was constructed in Clydebank, Scotland, in the 1930s.
And it’s also a lot of culture to take in over one weekend so to prepare you for all things Scottish, here’s a guide to what you’ll experience at the festival this weekend.
Experience Scottish food at the festival will be in the evening at Greyfrair’s Pub, a pop-up at the Queen Mary that was created just for the festival and is open from 7 p.m.-1 a.m.
This is where traditional foods such as Haggis, bangers and mash, smoked salmon, beef pies, traditional and soups will be served.
Another treat that will be on the menu is cranachan — not an evil mythological sea creature, but rather a dessert made with a mixture of whipped cream, whisky and oats.
And as the haggis is presented, there will be a recitation of the Robert Burns poem “Address to a Haggis.”
Todd Henderson, the ship’s executive chef, will cut and serve the haggis in the ship’s Exhibit Hall at 11 a.m. both days.
There are also cooking demos Scotch whisky tastings as well.
According to Brian Luallen, director of events and entertainment at the Queen Mary, you can walk out of the festival pretty much an honorary Scot thanks to all the culture on display.
Attractions include the Grand Parade of Clans & Bands with about two dozen original family clans traveling from Scotland to the festival to march both days.
Expect sheep herding demonstrations with some really smart border collies, a “Birds of Prey” show featuring falcons, owls and hawks, Scottish Highland Dancers and a whole lot of bagpipes.
And with more than 30 vendors you can buy everything from kilts to bagpipes so you can come out looking like a traditional Scot.
You can also add a little Long Beach flavor to your outfit because the Queen Mary is releasing the city’s own custom-made traditional tartan.
“We had the pattern blessed by the Scottish authorities that oversee these kinds of things and this will be the first event where we’ll have the new Long Beach tartan,” Luallen said.
And finally you can celebrate your new Scottish heritage at the Ceilidh, a traditional Scottish party happening Saturday night at Greyfrair’s Pub. Admission to the Ceilidh is $10 and it’s open to all ages.
The focal point of the weekend is the Highland Games, a pre-cursor to the modern Olympics that were designed to test the strength, skill and technique of ancient warriors.
The weekend’s competitors include Felicia Baker, the current world record holder for women’s lightweight heavy hammer, and overall Highland Games master Kengo Kubato from Fukushima, Japan.
The competition includes events such as the caber toss, where an athlete rests a pole against his/her shoulder then lifts it off the ground and runs with it to build momentum before throwing it as far as possible.
There’s also the the hammer throw, which originated in the granite mines of Scotland as workers would compete by tossing actual sledgehammers for distance. At the ship, competitors will toss an iron sphere attached to a chain.
If you go:
When: 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17, and Sunday, Feb. 18
Where: Queen Mary, 1126 Queens Highway, Long Beach
Admission: $12 for children ages 4-11 and $25 for adults for general admission. $32 VIP admission for children and $45 for adult VIP which includes access to VIP area, one drink and admission to the Ceilidh. General admission to the Ceilidh is $10 and it’s open to all ages.
Powered by WPeMatico