Gone mad for Bagpipes & Plaid

BAGPIPE bands, Highland dancing, Scottish foods and athletic competitions are among the features of the Ohio Scottish Games in which three former Eastern Ohio residents are involved.

Sponsored by the Scottish-American Cultural Society of Ohio, the celebration is scheduled June 23-25 at the Lorain County Fairgrounds, Wellington (about one hour travel time from Akron).

Two former Ohio Valley residents are officers of SACSO, and another also is involved in working on the Scottish Games. They are:

  • Richard McHugh, a 1960 graduate of Warren Consolidated High School, Tiltonsville, who is vice president of the group. He is a retired air traffic controller.
  • Dorothy Jean Woods McHugh, a 1960 graduate of Martins Ferry High School, who serves as SACSO treasurer. She is a retired Wellington schoolteacher. In addition to being Chamber of Commerce secretary, she has served as treasurer of the Wellington United Methodist Church for 40 years.
  • Calvin Woods, a 1967 graduate of Martins Ferry High School and a 1970 graduate of Ohio University, who helps in setting up at the games, and included among his duties is making sure the dance floor is laid properly. When living in the Martins Ferry area, he worked at Otte-Pettit Hardware, now Winters True Value Hardware. He is retired from teaching school in Wellington.

They aren’t the only family members who work on SACSO activities. Calvin’s wife, Darlene, a 1966 graduate of Akron High School, and their three daughters, Katie, Ali and Tori, are trustees on the SACSO board.

Activities during the Ohio Scottish Games will begin next Thursday with a Scots’ golf outing, and proceeds will benefit the Ohio Scottish Arts School.

Included among the June 24 events will be a barbecue dinner by reservation only, followed by a concert/ceilidh. There’ll also be dancing.

A ceilidh is a social gathering with folk music, singing, dancing and storytelling. The concert/ceilidh will feature Charlie Zahm with Tad Marks, Girls Gone Mild and Daniel Carr, the 2010 adult world champion Highland dancer. It’ll be at 7:30 p.m., and tickets are $15 each.

“The Main Event” for the games will be Saturday, June 25, with competitions, demonstrations, vendors, children’s events, pipe bands, Highland dances, heavy athletics, clan activities, the kilted mile, Gaelic Mod and other activities. A Mod “is a Gaelic song competition for anyone who feels like they want to try their hand (or voice!) at singing a Scottish Gaelic song.”

Gates will open June 25 at 8 a.m., and activities will continue until 6:30 p.m. at the fairgrounds. Entertaining will be Charlie Zahm, a traditional Scottish balladeer, with Tad Marks, a Celtic fiddler; Glengarry Bhoys, high-spirited Celtic rock with bagpipes and fiddle; and Brother, fusing signature vocals and guitar with the didgeridoo, bagpipes and tribal percussion. A didgeridoo is a musical instrument of the Australian Aborigines and is made from a long wooden tube that is blown into to create a low drone.

Those attending also can see competitions including heavy athletics, Highland dances, Gaelic Mod, harp, fiddle, pipe band, solo piping and drumming.

Children’s games are planned, and there’ll be a clan village with a genealogist. Highland cattle, border collies, Clydesdale horses, a falconer, British cars and motorcycles are among the attractions.

Mcfarlane’s Company, an interactive living history troupe, will be at the gathering.

Vendors with retail items, crafts and food will be on the grounds. Both traditional Scottish food vendors and American food vendors will be present.

Free parking will be available, and there are campgrounds on the site. Tickets to Saturday’s activities are $17 for an adult, $12 for a senior citizen (60 and over), $5 for children of walking age to 12 years of age; and children not yet walking, free admission.

SACSO is comprised of a group of men and women from throughout the Buckeye State dedicated to the promotion of the Scottish culture in Ohio. They volunteer their time year-round to ensure the success of athletic events, dancing, bag piping, drumming, Gaelic Mod and clan events at the Ohio Scottish Games.

The organization’s Web site is www.ohioscottishgames.com.

Pokas can be reached at timesleader@timesleaderonline.com.