The 5th Annual Ainsworth Scottish Festival welcomes you to a weekend of Scottish fun and flair, where you are invited to be a Scot for a day or for the weekend. Patterned after the Scottish Fairs held in the Carolinas in the late 1790s, the Ainsworth Scottish Festival offers a relaxing and fun experience for the entire family.
Whether you are Scottish by blood or Scottish by heart, you are welcome to take part in the gathering of the clans on the first weekend in May – May 3, 4 & 5, 2019 – at MacLaren Meadows off Route 41. The popular festival, held in honor of the many contributions made by the Scottish settlers of North Carolina, is back in Ainsworth for its fifth year by popular demand and celebrates all things Scottish. Festivities begin at sunset on Friday, May 3, with the opening ceremonies where representatives of each clan name announce their family’s participation in the gathering. This “raising of the clans” represents their coming together to celebrate their heritage and features a procession of all the clan members in full Scottish regalia, followed by a torchlight ceremony.
May 4 and 5 feature something for everyone. Events include the border collie sheep-herding competition, athletic competitions including “turning the caber”, the highland dancing competition, Celtic music and entertainment and, of course, the stirring sounds of bagpipes in the background.
Stroll through the open-air market set up adjacent to the parade grounds where you can buy your own tartan plaid and other Scottish gift items from local merchants. Concession stands from local eateries will feature traditional Scottish food to give you a taste of the Highlands.
There is also a booth set up to assist guests in tracing their Scottish heritage and roots, and in learning more about the history and culture of Scotland in general.
Adult tickets are $10. Tickets for children ages 5-12 are $5, with children under five free. Tickets cover all activities in the Meadows, lasting from 5 p.m. until midnight on Friday, 8 a.m. until midnight on Saturday, and 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Sunday. Pick up your tickets at the Meadows entrance on the day of the event or at the various participating merchants about town.