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Lyon preps for Scottish Festival | Arts & Culture

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Lyon preps for Scottish Festival
Lyon preps for Scottish Festival

BATESVILLE — Lyon College is preparing for its 33rd Arkansas Scottish Festival, which is set for April 13-15 on the Lyon College campus in Batesville. Organizers said admission to the three-day festival will be free.


The celebration began as a way to honor the college’s Scottish roots. Lyon College was founded in 1872 by the Presbyterian Church, which has its roots in Scotland. The college recognizes Scotland through its Scottish Heritage Program and through the annual Arkansas Scottish Festival, which brings in thousands of visitors during the weekend.


Of course, it wouldn’t be a Scottish festival without bagpipe, drumming and Highland dancing competitions. The qualifiers featurepipers, drummers and dancers from all over the world including Ireland and Scotland.


This year’s festival will feature more events, more competitors, more pipe bands and more entertainment.


Things kick off a day earlier this year on April 12 with a pipe band concert at the First Presbyterian Church in Batesville as well as a poetry reading. Any type of poem may be entered as long as it has a Celtic theme. Andrea Hollander Budy, Lyon College’s writer-in-residence, will judge the entries. Prizes will be awarded for first place ($100), second place ($50) and third place ($25). Deadline for submissions will be March 30. Poems may be sent to Arkansas Scottish Festival, Lyon College, P.O. Box 2317, Batesville, AR 72503. For more information, contact Jimmy Bell at 870-307-7473 or e-mail james.bell@lyon.edu.


This year’s festival will feature musical performances, piping and drumming competitions, dancing, sheepdog demonstrations, heavy athletic games, a car show, parade of massed bands and clans, Iona worship service, bonniest knees contest and feast and Ceilidh.


The festival also has children’s activities. The Child’s Passport program is a free activity where children receive a passport and take it to the clans. They get the passports stamped at the various clan booths and bring it back to the Welcome Tent for a prize. Child’s Passport organizer Brenda Lindsey said she usually gives out between 200 and 400 passports during the festival.


The children’s games are also a hit with the younger festival-goers. Children can play a variety of games and win prizes.


The Arkansas Scottish Festival website provides registration information for patrons, groups, vendors, athletic competitors, clans and piping, drumming and band participants. Thesite also lists a full schedule of events. For more information about the festival or to register, visit http://www.lyon.edu/scotfest.