The Queen Mary is pleased to welcome back the annual ScotsFestival & International Highland Games XXV on February 17-18, 2018. Celebrate 25 years of the annual event and experience the rich culture and history of Scotland first hand through an array of authentic activities, athletics, dancing, entertainment, drinks and cuisine all in ode to the Queen Mary’s Scottish legacy.
Eighty-eight years ago, in the quaint seaside town of Clydebank, Scotland, construction on the Queen Mary began. Exemplifying the finest craftsmanship of the country, the Queen Mary’s legacy is undeniable and today the ship’s heritage is celebrated through the two-day ScotsFestival honoring Scottish culture. The 25th Anniversary of the Queen Mary’s ScotsFestival and International Highland Games will honor nearly fifty Scottish clans & vendors throughout the festival weekend with professional and amateur competitions in darts, piping, drumming, massed bands, Highland dancing, and Highland athletics. The Scottish Highland Games, a pre-cursor to today’s Olympic Games, was designed to test the strength, skill and technique of ancient warriors by face offs. Kick-off ScotsFestival weekend at the festival’s all-new pop-up Greyfrair’s Pub on Friday, February 16 from 7 p.m. – 1 a.m. on board the legendary ocean liner. Keep cozy into the wee hours of the night at the pop-up pub with authentic food, a full bar, and an amazing atmosphere. Begin your festivities for 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 will serve and cut Haggis in honor of the customary Scottish cultural celebration. Following the Address to Haggis, at 12 p.m. attendees will gather for the exciting and breathtaking Grand Parade of Clans & Bands. Daily festivities include Border Collie sheep-herding, firing demonstrations, performances by the Royal Scots Greys Calvary, LA and OC Royal Scottish Country Dance Society, and many more historic reenactments. Special for the 25th Annual ScotsFestival, the all-new Birds of Prey Show will offer attendees the opportunity to take photos with and learn the history of falconry in Scotland. With three shows offered daily, experience the beauty of falcons, owls, and hawks first hand in this one-of-a-kind Scottish entertainment. Continue the fun into the night from 7 p.m. – 1 a.m. with the Ceilihd on Saturday, February 17. Grab a pint and experience the traditional clans’ celebration with games, live music, food, drinks, dancing, and more. Tickets to the Ceilihd are $10 online and the event is open to all ages. The Queen Mary’s ScotsFestival hosts World Champion Scottish Highland Dancers and many internationally acclaimed and award winning athletes competing for titles in stones, hammer throw, weights for distance, weight over bar, sheaf and the famed caber toss. Whisky and scotch tasting sessions with aged malt experts are available for adult festival goers ($18) and well-known Chef McBride will demo authentic Celtic Cuisine in the Culinary Corner. The wee laddies and lassies can bear witness to Queen Mary’s knighting and coronation ceremonies, and even take part in the Wee Highland Games including youth competitions in caber toss, archery, potato sack races and tug o’ war. Adults can join in the amateur competition fun with activities like the all-new Adult Castle Obstacle Course where partakers can push through, crawl through, climb, and slide through an inflatable castle for the chance to win exciting prizes. Tickets to the 25th 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 includes VIP entry, access to shaded VIP Lounge, (1) drink ticket, and access to Ceilihd. Upgrades, ticket add-ons, and hotel packages will also be available. Discounts are available to military and seniors. Visit http://queenmary.com/events/scotsfestival/ for more details and to purchase tickets online.