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Saturday, October 24, 2009

A grand time at Stone Mountain

Last weekend was the 37th annual Stone Mountain Highland Games (Atlanta, GA), and once more the Scottish Tartans Museum was proud to be in attendance.

Like all of the Highland Games and other Scottish festivals we attend, museum staff and hardy volunteers were on hand to answer questions about tartans and kilts, look up tartan information for Games visitors, and promote the museum. Unlike most festivals we attend, we are allowed to bring down stock from our museum's gift shop to vend. It's a lot of extra work, to be sure, but it's a great fund raiser for the museum, and so I always want to thank the Stone Mountain Games folks for allowing us this opportunity.

And thanks, as well, to all of those who came by our tent at the Games to say hi, talk with us about kilts, and support the museum with your purchase.

The forcast for the weekend was supposed to be cool and sunny. On Saturday what we got was cold instead of cool, and rain instead of sunshine. To be more accurate, what we had was a misty morning followed by a drizzly afternoon. It never rained hard, but with the cold temperatures it felt pretty miserable. That didn't seem to dampen the spirits of the Games attendees at all, though, who seemed delighted that the state of Georgia went to the trouble to import authentic Scottish weather!

Sunday was just as cold as Saturday, however Mr. Sun made an appearance and the crowds were noticably thicker.

All in all it was a good, fun, weekend, though it has taken us a while to recover from the packing and travel (as evidenced by the fact that it has taken me a week to post this!).

Here are a few pictures to share.

This was taken Saturday morning, before it got too wet. Left to right is Peter Wilson, owner of Great Scot International (Charlotte, NC); Brian Wilton, director of the Scottish Tartans Authority; and myself.

Brian is wearing a kilt made from certified organic tweed cloth, woven by Ardalanish Isle of Mull weavers. Here's a close up.

I recently posted about this mill, and am hoping soon to be able to offer my own kilts made from this wonderful cloth.

Next we meet Tom Mungall, Highland dress enthhusiast and owner/moderator of the Scottish Attire mailing list on Yahoo.

Pictured to the left in the foreground is Tom's son, Jamie, in a four yard box pleated kilt in muted Cameron of Erracht that I made for him.

Tom is also wearing a box pleated kilt in the ancient Campbell tartan, and some wonderful hand knit hose that he inherited from his father. Aren't family heirlooms wonderful!

Speaking of Jamie's kilt, above, it's always rewarding to see the product of your hands being worn and used in such a grand fashion at the Games. This weekend, my wife got to join in the feeling. This gentleman came up to show off the Royal Cuff hose that he ordered from us last year at the Games, which my wife knit for him.

The red and blue shephard's check cuffs look grand with his modern Hamilton tartan kilt.

I didn't catch this gentleman's name, but he was wearing the MacSporran tartan. I had to take his photo, his outfit was just sublime!

It was perfect for a stroll about the Highland Games on a cool, damp afternoon. Barbour jacket, tweed flat cap, tattersal shirt (I'm a big fan!), emblem tie, wooly sweater vest. The pipe just completes the look. The only thing I could find to criticize is that the sporran is a bit formal for the rest of the outfit, but it's a grand sporran to be sure (looks to be seal skin), so who could blame him for wanting to give it good use? I made sure to compliment him on his taste.

(As a side note, I realize that some don't think a flat cap appropriate attire with the kilt; others do. In any case, I think it works very well with this outfit.)

Of course, there are the obligatory "crowd shots." These were taken on Sunday afternoon when the crowd was heaviest.

Our own museum's tent.

Lastly, your intrepid reporter, taken at the end of the day on Sunday, after a very long weekend, indeed!

It was a lot of work, but a lot of fun. I look forward to seeing everyone at Stone Mountain again next year!

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