Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Highland Games

Our Scottish Dance club performed at the local Highland Games last weekend. As predicted, the weather was cold and rainy. What was not predicted was the rain starting first thing in the morning. I'd hoped we'd have most of the afternoon at least partly sunny, with the rain coming later. Oh well.

Hubby and I arrived well before 9am, as asked, and were told at the gate that we were late, and should have been there before 8:30 if we wanted to take our car in. But, after brief negotiations, they let us drive onto the fairgrounds so we could unload. Since we had a heavy folding table, card table, shade canopy, blankets, folding chairs, costumes, etc, that was a good thing.

We unloaded the car and hubby drove off. Meanwhile, I started unpacking things. We got the booth set up and settled in for a long day. I was very glad I'd brought a blanket. There was a light rain off and on for most of the day. Fortunately, it didn't seem to dampen attendance. Maybe folks liked the fact that the weather was being Scottish too :-).

The stage we danced on is two large flat surfaces, about six pieces of plywood together on each side. These sides are each bolted to a metal framework. Attached to the frames are four small trailer tires. There are also leveling legs that can be put down to support the surface above. The two sides are set next to each other. It's plenty large enough for what we do. The only bad thing about it is, as groups of people essentially jump up and down on it for minutes at a time, the two sides gradually separate, leaving a gap of two inches, or more. So performers have to be very conscious of the gap while using the stage. Thank goodness the Games organizers were able to shove the two sides back together before we did the afternoon demo. With all the groups that had been using it, those two sides were at least six inches apart by lunchtime.

Our first demonstration was late morning, in a light but steady rain. The grass was wet, and the stage was wet, and our shoes got soaked. We did have one dancer slip during the dancing, but she got right back up and kept going. And we had plenty of people get up for the audience participation dance. So it went tolerably well! By the afternoon, it hadn't rained much for a few hours, and the stage was nearly dry. That demo was even better.

Aside from Scottish Country dance, there was a Highland dance competition, Irish dance demonstrations, pipe band competitions, Scottish athletics competitions, Celtic music groups performing at two other stages, a dog agility competition, and Clan booths. Your typical Games, but in miniature. We showed up somewhat grumpy at having to be there allllll day, but it turned out to be fun.

Since then the weather has become decidedly colder. We're supposed to get down to 45F tonight. There was even patchy frost in our area a few nights ago, though I didn't see any. We are still hoping to go camping one more time in mid October. I hope it's not downright freezing and there's lots of fall color by then. We'll see.

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