Saturday, September 11, 2010

Long's Peak Scottish Irish Festival

See all our photos on Flickr.

Saturday morning dawned bright and cloudless and a little on the cool side. We walked the length of Estes Park's main street to get into a long line at Starbucks for breakfast. Along the way, people were already staking out their spots for the parade marking the opening of the annual Scottish Irish Festival at the Estes Park Fairgrounds. There was a feeling of excitement in the air as brawny men in kilts roamed the sidewalks along with Scottie dogs on leashes.

We found a sunny spot near one of the parade announcers where we watched bagpipe band after bagpipe band and clan after clan - in alphabetical order - pass by. An hour had passed and we'd only reached the M's, so we decided to start walking back to the Silver Moon to get ready to go out to the Fairgrounds for the Festival. The parade finally ended shortly afterwards, there not being that many clans beginning with the letters N-Z.

Once at the Fairgrounds, we were a little overwhelmed by the crowds and the noise, but once we got acclimated, we enjoyed watching the parade of the Dogs of the British Isles, a performance by the Marine Band, some athletic events, and a bagpipe band competition. There were tents for musical performances, dancing, and lots and lots of merchandise. Each clan had a display and there were many food booths and beer at every turn.

After a few hours, we felt that we'd been sufficiently immersed in Scottish/Irish culture and headed back to town to look for a quiet place to have a late lunch. Looking up, we spotted Vega's rooftop tapas bar where we enjoyed a couple of beers and some sandwiches while overlooking downtown Estes Park. It was a different kind of day, but really fun!

See all our photos on Flickr.

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