Piping on the Green slated for April 6

It’s time once again to break out the kilts, pick a tartan and prepare to head to the Celtic-themed Piping on the Green music and arts festival at the Celtic Cup Coffee House in Tullahoma.

The Seventh Annual Piping on the Green gets underway at 8 a.m. on Saturday, April 6, rain or shine, and continues until 6 p.m. with music, crafts, dancing and comedy throughout the day. 

Organizers say there will be something for everyone, including workshops, demonstrations and authentic food and beverages.

Thanks to the generosity of local businesses and dedicated individuals, the annual event celebrating rich Scottish traditions and Scot-American heritage is free to the public.

Hosted by the Highland Rim Scottish Society, this year’s festival will kick off with a welcome from society president Denise Smith and the group’s famous “Kilted Honor Guard.” The Tullahoma High School A Capella Singers will sing the national anthem, and piper Andrew McRady will pipe “Scotland the Brave.” 

Kickoff ceremonies will also include the announcement of the juried art show winners. This year’s theme is Scottish Shorelines and art entries are open to the public.

Back by popular demand, Texas-based Scotland Rising will headline the day’s musical performances. The group will cap off its performance and the festival with an audience-participation rendition of “Auld Lang Syne,” written by the 18th century Scottish poet and bard Robert Burns.

Also performing this year will be The Secret Commonwealth, which returning to the festival for the group’s seventh year.  They will be followed by Black Market Haggis, dancers from the Glengarry School of Highland Dance, Pay the Reckoning Trio and Triquerta Troupe, performing comedy and Irish step-dancing.

Three workshops will be offered during the day, including Genealogy 101 with Fran Parrish; Celtic Knots with Laura Kuntz; and Bodhran, the Celtic drum, with Andy Kruspe.

These hour-long classes often fill quickly, so visitors are asked to sign up for the workshop of their choice upon arrival.

In addition to music, there will be plenty of Celtic food and beverages, The Celtic Cup’s outdoor “Medieval Mug” will offer Celtic favorites such as Scotch eggs, bangers ’n’ mash, bridies (meat pastries), fish and chips, and the best “American” haggis pasties, a classic form of meat pie. Visitors will also be able to raise a pint or two of Gaelic favorites.

Complimentary parking is available one block from the event at 301 W. Grundy St.  Shuttle service will be provided. All visitors are advised to bring a blanket or lawn chair, dress warmly and be prepared for the possibility of rain.

When the day is over, festivalgoers, vendors and take-down crews are welcome to participate in a “somewhat non-Celtic” lasagna dinner at St. Barnabas Episcopal Church, 110 E. Lincoln St. There, one might hear members of Scotland Rising “pipe for their supper.” This event becomes a friendly gathering place to continue conversations and to rejoin or meet new friends.

Piping on the Green, held each year on the first or second Saturday in April in celebration of National Tartan Day, aims to educate the public of this area’s wonderfully rich Scot-American heritage.

National Tartan Day was first proposed by the Federation of Scottish Clans in Nova Scotia in April 1987. Meeting in 1997 in Sarasota, Florida, the Scottish Coalition USA looked to see Tartan Day to be recognized in the U.S. as it had been observed in Canada since 1991. In 1998, the efforts of the Scottish Coalition saw the United States Senate resolution passed. This led in turn to the Congressional and then Presidential passing of the yearly recognition of National Tartan Day Observance on April 6.

The Highland Rim Society meets at 7 p.m. on the third Tuesday of the odd-numbered months at The Celtic Cup Coffee House, 106 N. Anderson St., and all are welcome to participate. Yearly dues are $10 for an individual and $15 for a family membership. 

For more information about the Piping on the Green festival, crafts or performers, visit the event’s website at www.piping.hrsstn.org or www.facebook.com/PipingonTheGreen.

For additional information about the event or the Highland Rim Scottish Society, contact H. Tom Bentley III by email at htbentley@lighttube.net or by phone at 931-273-6344.

Kelly Lapczynksi can be reached by email at klapczynksi@tullahomanews.com.