The Queen Mary is proud to welcome back the annual ScotsFestival & International Highland Games XXVII on February 15-16, 2020. Experience Scottish culture through an array of authentic activities including Highland Games and competitions, traditional dance, cuisine, whisky tastings, bagpiping, live entertainment, and activities for the entire family — all in honor of the Queen Mary’s Scottish ancestry.
Eighty-nine years ago in the quaint seaside town of Clydebank, Scotland, construction began on the Queen Mary. The craftsmanship of the legendary ship exemplifies the country’s finest work, and today its heritage is celebrated throughout the two-day ScotsFestival.
Guests can witness professional and amateur competitions in piping, drumming, massed bands, darts, Highland dancing and Highland athletics. This year’s Highland Games welcome the all-new North American Lightweight Women’s Championship. On Sunday, February 16, the top lightweight women in the United States will be competing in all nine Scottish heavy events to crown the 2020 Champion. This year’s roster includes several current World Record holders, so spectators may even be able to witness these talented women break more records during ScotsFestival.
Returning to the Queen Mary for the second year, the North American Professional Male Championship will also be a can’t-miss happening of the weekend. New to the competition schedule in 2020 is the Stones of Strength series, and fan favorites such as the Caber Toss, Throwing the Weight, the Hammer Throw, Putting the Shot, and Sheaf Toss competitions are returning.
The Address to The Haggis kicks off ScotsFestival each day at 11 a.m. on the Sterling Stage, with a reading of Robbie Burns’ poem in ode to the Haggis. The ceremony concludes with a Haggis tasting and whisky samples. At 12 p.m. daily, gather for the stunning Grand Parade of Clans and Bands featuring a new route and lineup.
ScotsFestival pours the flavors of Scotland through whisky tastings every half hour beginning daily at 10:30 a.m. Located in the Royal Salon aboard the ship, Greyfriar’s Pub offers authentic food, a full bar, and an atmosphere plucked straight from the backstreets of Edinburgh. Greyfriar’s Pub will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Friday, February 14, and 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sunday.
On Saturday, February 15, continue the fun into the wee hours of the night with the Gaelic tradition of the Cèilidh. Grab a pint and enjoy games, live music, food, drinks, and dancing at this party located in Greyfriar’s Pub in the Royal Salon. Tickets to the Cèilidh are included with VIP ScotsFestival admission and are available to GA ticket holders for purchase for $10 online, $12 at the door, and the party is open to all ages. Complete ScotsFestival weekend aboard the ship with the Kirkin, an authentic Scottish non-denominational mass with live piano music and singing Sunday morning, February 16 starting 9:15 a.m.
ScotsFestival & International Highland Games XXVII welcomes nearly fifty clans and vendors throughout the weekend. Clans will share their traditions through reenactments and demonstrations. Additional daily activities include sheep herding, falconry demonstrations, and competitions in piping, drumming, marching, darts, and Highland dancing. Festival goers can try their hand in axe throwing, archery, and Scottish dancing classes from Royal Scottish Dance Companies, and enjoy live music throughout each day. The wee laddies and lassies can participate in Queen Mary’s knighting and coronation ceremonies after completing the assigned quests or take part in mini Highland Games with youth competitions in caber toss, archery, potato sack races and tug o’ war.
Tickets to the Queen Mary’s 27th annual ScotsFestival and International Highland Games are on sale now and start at $25 online for adults (ages 12+) and $15 online for children (ages 4-11) for one day general admission. Children under the age of 4 do not require a ticket. VIP tickets start at $45 online for adults, $35 online for children and grant VIP entry, access to shaded VIP lounge and bar, ScotsFestival t-shirt, and access to Cèilidh. Upgrades, ticket add-ons and hotel packages are available. Visit queenmary.com for more information and to purchase tickets.
This article was released by The Queen Mary.