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Games & Festivals / 30th Annual Scotland Highland Festival
« Last post by Stirling Thompson on October 10, 2017, 11:23:10 AM »
My final games of the 2017 season was at the 30th Annual Scotland Highland Festival held at the Edward Waldo Homestead in Scotland CT on Sunday October 8, 2017. These games have always been one of my favorites because its close to home and was the first games I ever did and despite the weather it still is. On Friday, Dottie and I drove up to Farmington ME and picked up our grandson Sean and brought him back to Massachusetts to visit for a week and he came with us to the games to help with the setup.

Sean came to help out. The Edward Waldo Homestead is in the background.

The weather this year (and last) was not very cooperative starting off overcast and windy and just went downhill from there. Rain, heavy at times, lasted most of the morning and ended up soaking most of my display. The rain finally stopped shortly before noon and although it was still damp we managed to get through the opening ceremonies without more rain. The remainder of the day was rain free and surprisingly the turnout, though lighter than usual, was fairly steady throughout the day. Chapman Thompson and his crew showed up marched with us in the Parade of Clans.

Chapman Thompson and family helped make a good showing in the Parade of Clans.

I pretty much stayed at the tent all day so Dottie and Sean wandered the grounds and took some nice pictures of the competitions and demonstrations. Athletics are always popular as is the dancing and band competition. The highland cattle are always nice to see and this year's highlight was the 4 day old calf.

Athletic competitions are always popular.

Highland cattle, Stoay sheep and the sheepdog demoonstration are lots of fun.

There was sword fighting demos and the Historic Highlanders will tell you all about life in the good old days.

After competing the pipe bands would march through the Clan Village area.

Despite the weather there were only a couple of clans that failed to answer the roll and the Clan Village was well populated. We had Clan Donald and Clan Elliot for neighbors and Clan Donald serenaded us with their piper at various times of the day. On a sadder note I said goodbye to Stu Greenlaw of Clan Stewart. Stu has been the rep for as long as I've been doing the games but he has decided to retire to South Carolina and as of this moment no one has stepped forward to take up the mantle of Clan Stewart rep. Stu will be missed.

Some views of the village area.

I guess that about wraps up the 2017 games season for me here in New England. I'm looking forward to next year and hoping I can get back to the games I missed this year, Rhode Island, Glasgow Lands and Quechee, and maybe sneak in a new one so we can get back together with Alan and Heidi. Central NY looks promising but we'll have to wait and see. Any way the rest of the pics from Scotland CT are here:
Games & Festivals / Re: Ligonier Scottish Festival 2017
« Last post by Thomas B. Thompson on October 05, 2017, 01:26:27 PM »
Thanks for the update and pictures. So glad fall is finally arriving.
To anyone that reads this, I hope everyone is doing well.
Tom & Barbara
Games & Festivals / Ligonier Scottish Festival 2017
« Last post by Stirling Thompson on September 27, 2017, 09:38:56 AM »
For the very first time Clan Thom(p)son was represented at the Ligonier Games held on Saturday September 23, 2017 at Idlewild Park & Soak Zone in Ligonier, PA. Alan and Heidi Thompson hosted the tent and Dot and I were there to assist and provide moral support.

Dot, Alan and Heidi were ready to go!

The tent was a joint effort with me providing the tent, flags and poles along with some reference materials and Alan providing the bulk of the display items and the Reiver board which is always popular.

The tent looked great!

Alan signed up some new members for the Clan but unfortunately he has those pictures so I can't post them with this report.

It was a very warm day but there were lots of falling leaves from all the trees in the area of the Clan Village. The location of the Clan Village was a major concern because it is a bit out of the way from all the vendors and other activities there was a steady flow of people throughout the day but it was probably only about half the number of people in attendance.

You could tell it was fall!

Dot and I had a great time working the tent with Alan and Heidi and look forward to getting together with them somewhere again next year.

Until ten the rest of my pics are here:
Games & Festivals / Re: 42nd New Hampshire Highland Games & Festival
« Last post by Mary on September 21, 2017, 06:38:32 PM »
Lookin' good, you guys! 

Dot's reiver boards look great and I'll bet were a big hit with one and all. Wish we could have been there to help you guys....maybe another year. We're not giving up hope of getting to the far-flung games for at least a couple more years  ;)  We didn't get to see the Brigadoons or any other entertainment last trip, so maybe the next trip  :D

Thanks for posting all the photos - the tent and you two look very spiffy. I love your dress, if definitely a great color for you and Stu looks so 15th century!

Nice picture of you and Sherry Crane - I knew she was engaged but didn't know when the wedding was planned. 

Thanks for the information on The Wilderness Inn - I'll take a look when I get a chance. Nice heads-up for anyone planning on going to the games. You guys have done your usual outstanding work representing the clan.....are you going to come to Grandfather again in 2018? It was a good group.

Games & Festivals / 42nd New Hampshire Highland Games & Festival
« Last post by Stirling Thompson on September 19, 2017, 08:49:28 AM »
I have to admit I was a little worried about doing New Hampshire this year. Last year we held our AGM here and had lots of folks to help out at the tent but this year it was only Dottie and I for the whole three days. But we survived, we were tired at the end of each day but we had a great time. The very first thing I want to do is give kudos to hosts Alan and Karen Trudell at the Wilderness Inn B & B in North Woodstock, NH, we had a wonderful stay and plan to re-book there for next year. If you plan to be in the area we highly recommend them and you can find them on the web here:

Our hosts at The Wilderness Inn, Alan and Karen Trudell

We arrived at games on Thursday and checked in, got our tent space assignment, unloaded all our gear and set up the tent and secured everything as best we could for the overnight figuring we could get in early enough to finish set-up before visitors started arriving. There was a very brief shower Friday morning before we got there but everything stayed dry despite the fact that the top blew off the tent.

We re-secured the top and got the tent display set-up in no time. We had some great neighbors with Clan Sutherland on our left and Clan Campbell on our right.

Good location with great neighbors

Dottie finished painting the new Reiver board, our nephew Ken King made for us, just a few days before the games and it was a big hit with young and old alike. Hard to believe how many bearded men wanted to be Reiver ladies.

Lots of little Reivers showed up

There had been some concern on the part of the games committee about interactions between us and Clan MacTavish. I had gotten a call a few days earlier requesting our best behavior. When I checked in I noticed that Sherry Thompson had checked in for Clan MacTavish. I met Sherry several years ago and have never had an issue with her so on Friday I stopped by their tent to say hello. We had a really good chat and we both took pictures that we posted to facebook to prove we can coexist while agreeing to disagree. She also told me she was a new bride of only four days. She is keeping Thompson as her middle name so now she is Sherry Thompson Crane.

Sherry Thompson Crane - Clan MacTavish Regional Representative

The weather was remarkable for mid-September in the mountains with the leaves barely beginning to turn. It was hot and humid all three days but it had little effect on the size of the crowds. Friday was busy with a surprisingly steady flow of visitors coming through the Clan Village. Saturday, of course, was the really busy day with thousands visitors coming to see all the athletes, pipe bands, dancers, fiddlers, celebrities and professional entertainers like Albanach, Prydein, The Brigadoons, Charlie Zahm and more.

Perennial games favorite Charlie Zahm and The Brigadoons

Dottie and I got to wear different outfits each day with Reiver garb on Friday, dress blue tartan on Saturday for the parade and casual on Sunday with the hunting tartan.

What a cute couple!

Any way, we had a great time and look forward to next year. The full album is available here:
Games & Festivals / Remaining Games for 2017
« Last post by Stirling Thompson on August 29, 2017, 08:41:29 AM »
Where does the time go? It's been a strange year so far, missed the Rhode Island Games due to a graduation, traveled all the way to North Carolina for the Grandfather Mountain Games, missed the Glasgow Lands Games mostly due to exhaustion, attended the Maine Games then missed Quechee, VT last week due to a death in the family and that brings us into the fall season and three remaining games.

First up is the New Hampshire Games, September 15 - 17 at Loon Mountain. Last year was our first year there and we had lots of clan members come for the AGM and to help out. This year it will just be Dottie and I, and possibly our grandson Jacob if he can get away. I know we signed up a number of new members there and it would be great if some of them showed up to give us a hand. I must admit I'm a little apprehensive about doing a three day festival with just two people it will be a very long weekend.

The Saturday after the New Hampshire Games Dottie and I will travel to Pennsylvania for the Ligonier Games. This will be the first year for Clan Thompson at these games after some issues last year. Alan and Heidi will be hosting the tent as they did at Grandfather Mountain and Dottie and I will help out as best we can and hopefully a few more clan members will be able to make the trip.

Unfortunately, I will not be able to attend the AGM at Stone Mountain, GA but I'm sure it will be a great event.

And finally, my season will finish up as always at Scotland, CT on October 8, 2017. While these are a small games they are still my favorite and the first games I ever attended as a Clan Thompson representative.

So, if you're in the area for any of these games stop by and say hello I would love to chat with you. And of course I will take pictures and post reports on all the games.

Games & Festivals / Re: Grandfather Mountain 2017
« Last post by Thomas B. Thompson on August 28, 2017, 07:57:52 AM »
Thanks for the report and pictures.
Glad everyone had a good time.

Bets wishes,
Tom & Barbara
Games & Festivals / Re: 2017 Maine Highland Games
« Last post by Thomas B. Thompson on August 28, 2017, 07:51:42 AM »
Hi Stu,
Sounds as if the weather put a little damper on things.
Thanks for the pictures, they loo great.
I guess fall will be moving in shortly and then old man winter.
It will be interesting to see how that all goes with the crazy weather we have been
Take care,

Tom & Barbara
Games & Festivals / 2017 Maine Highland Games
« Last post by Stirling Thompson on August 25, 2017, 05:00:37 PM »
The Maine Highland Games were held on Saturday August 20, 2017 at the Topsham Fairgrounds in Topsham, ME.

My grandson, Ben Rowe, and I went to the fairgrounds in pouring rain on Friday afternoon to get our Clan package, locate where we were supposed to be and set up the tent. We met up with George Newell, the Clan Coordinator, got our assignment and set up the tent and unloaded most of the gear and put it under cover hoping this would save us some time on Saturday morning when the weather promised to be more cooperative.

The rain stopped during the overnight and Ben and I returned to the fairgrounds about 7:45 am and popped up the tent and completed the set-up well before the visitors began to arrive. Another of my grandsons arrived a bit later to help out and join in the Clan Parade for the opening ceremonies.

We had a steady flow of visitors throughout the day but it seemed to me the numbers were down and I know there were a number of clans that failed to answer at the Calling of the Clans. The weather continued to improve as the day progressed and by 3 pm it had become quite hot and humid. The boys had lots of fun and got see all they wanted to see while I was mostly stuck at the tent alone but it was still an enjoyable day.

Closing ceremonies were held at 4 pm and we got everything broke down and packed up and headed back to my daughter's home in Waldoboro by 5:30 pm. Ben and I stopped and had a wonderful supper at the Reunion Station Restaurant before finishing the trip home and calling it a day.

We had the Clan Campbell for neighbors.

I thought the display looked great but we didn't win Best Tent.

Jacob said he had to have his annual helmet photo, with Ben assisting.

Full gallery is here but only 10 pictures total.

GENERAL Topics - Scottish or not / Re: I miss the Forum!
« Last post by Stirling Thompson on August 14, 2017, 01:52:15 PM »
Tom, Its good to hear from someone that feels the same as I do. Hope the job interview goes well sorry to hear you'll have to miss Stone Mountain but I think having gainful employment probably takes precedents over other things. I have the Maine games this coming weekend and Vermont the weekend after. September will be equally busy with New Hampshire and Ligonier games again on back to back weekends. Alan and Heidi will run the Ligonier games and Dottie and I will assist however we can. Its in Pennsylvania so maybe you can sneak over and say hi. My season will finish up in October in Scotland CT at my favorite games, small but cozy and the first games I ever did so I might be a little prejudiced.

Have you checked out Tartan Footprint? There is some good stuff on there too but lately its been as dormant as our forum. Catch you later!
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