The Queen Mary welcomes back the annual ScotsFestival & International Highland Games XXVI on February 16-17, 2019. Celebrate the Queen Mary’s rich Scottish legacy first hand through a full schedule of authentic Scottish activities including the new North American Professional Highland Games, dancing, entertainment, cuisine and tastings all in honor of the Queen Mary’s Scottish heritage.
Construction began on the Queen Mary eighty-eight years ago in the quaint seaside town of Clydebank, Scotland. The craftsmanship of the Queen Mary exemplifies the country’s finest work. Today its heritage is celebrated through the two-day ScotsFestival, honoring true Scottish culture.
ScotsFestival and International Highland Games XXVI welcomes nearly fifty Scottish clans and vendors throughout the festival weekend with professional and amateur competitions in piping, drumming, massed bands, darts, Highland dancing, and the new North American Professional Highland athletics. The Scottish Highland Games, a precursor to today’s Olympic Games, were designed to test the strength, skill and technique of ancient warriors by faceoffs in caber toss, throwing the weight, hammer throw, putting the shot, sheaf toss and more.
Begin your daily festivities at the Queen Mary’s ScotsFestival with the traditional Address to the Haggis at 11 a.m. in the Exhibit Hall where the Queen Mary’s Executive Chef Todd Henderson will cut and serve the Haggis in honor of the customary Scottish cultural celebration. Following the Address to Haggis, at 12 p.m. gather for the exciting Grand Parade of Clans & Bands. Sunday, February 17 at 9:15 a.m., begin the day with the Kirkin, a traditional Scottish non-denominational mass with live piano music and singing.
ScotsFestival offers whisky tastings and seminar sessions with aged malt experts every half hour beginning daily at 10:30 a.m. Grey Friar’s Pub opens on-board the ship beginning Friday, February 15 through Sunday, February 17, from 6 p.m. – 12 a.m. Keep cozy into the wee hours of the night at the pop-up pub with authentic food, a full bar, and an atmosphere plucked straight from the backstreets of Edinburgh.
Saturday, February 16, continue the fun into the night with the Gaelic tradition, Ceilidh. Grab a pint and experience the celebration with games, live music, food, drinks, and dancing at the pub-style deck party. Tickets to the Ceilidh are $10 online, $12 at the door, and the party is open to all ages.
Additional daily activities at the 2019 ScotsFestival include Border Collie Sheep Herding, falconry demonstrations, axe throwing and archery competitions. Guests can also experience traditional entertainment from Scottish Fiddlers of LA, Mayde in Ireland, Sligo Rags, and Highland Way. Dancing competitions, Scottish Reenactors, woodworking demonstrations, and Scottish dancing classes will be taking place daily.
The wee laddies and lassies can bear witness to Queen Mary’s knighting and coronation ceremonies and take part in mini Highland Games including youth competitions in caber toss, archery, potato sack races and tug o’ war.
Tickets to the 26th Annual ScotsFestival and International Highlands Games are on sale now and start at $25 online (ages 12+) and $12 online (ages 4-11) for one day general admission. VIP tickets start at $45 online and include VIP entry, access to the shaded VIP Lounge, (1) drink ticket, and access to Ceilidh. Upgrades, ticket add-ons, and hotel packages will also be available. Discounts are available to military and seniors. Visit queenmary.com for more details and to purchase tickets online.