Iron Thistle Festival Brings Celtic Culture and Fun to Yukon
It’s time to get your plaid on! The Highlands of Scotland travel to Yukon for one special weekend of family fun with Celtic flair. April 27 through 29, the twelfth annual Iron Thistle Scottish Festival brings Scottish culture and entertainment to Mollie Spencer Farm.
Iron Thistle will be open from 7 to 10 pm on Friday, April 27 and 10 to 6 on Saturday and Sunday, April 28 and 29. Parking is available at Yukon Middle School, directly north of Mollie Spencer Farm.
Enter the enchanting forested entrance of Mollie Spencer Farm and feel transported to Scotland. This celebration features authentic Scottish dancing, music, food, genealogy services, merchandise and the historical highland game competitions. Gate passes are $10 per person for ages 10 and up on Saturday and Sunday. Advance passes for ages 10 and up are also available for $8 per person at www.unitedscotsok.com/iron-thistle/. Ages 9 and under enter free.
Come Friday, April 27, for a free preview of the festival. The gates open at 7 pm. At 8:15, take part in the mesmerizing fire ceremony, a Scottish tradition, followed by a ceilidh (Gaelic for party).
Headlining the entertainment this year is CLEGHORN, America’s Celtic Rock Band. CLEGHORN’s unique brand of “Celtic rock” mixes their original songwriting with high energy fiddle and bagpipe tunes. Their performances have enamored audiences and stirred up festivals across North America. Renowned fiddler Dylan Cleghorn and his father, the legendary Texas Guitarist John Cleghorn, have been acclaimed as charismatic performers who even go as far as leaving the stage to play among the crowd during their concerts. They will perform at 5 pm on Saturday and Sunday.
In addition to CLEGHORN, several high energy Celtic acts are slated to perform throughout the weekend. Bands include Ravens Three, Flowers of Edinburgh, The Reel Treble Band, The Selkie Girls, Casey & Minna, Brighid, and Black Oak Shillelaugh. Hill School of Irish Dance, All About Irish, and Scottish Country Dancers bring both Scottish and Irish dance to life.
The Highland Games features heavy athletic competition, where men and women compete in events such as the caber toss and hammer throw. The winners of each class get a special award.
Iron Thistle offers plenty of delicious food and shopping. Celtic merchants from across the country will sell everything from Celtic trinkets, replica Scottish weapons, and kilts. Several food vendors will be on site to offer authentic dishes, such as haggis pups, meat pies, and scotch eggs. For the less adventurous festivalgoers, food trucks with traditional fair food is also available.
The Children’s Glen features plenty of activities for kids to learn about Scottish culture. Activities include pint-sized heavy athletics, crafts, archery, and Celtic stories. All ages will love the sheep herding demonstration and the charming Highland cattle.
Looking to trace back your Scottish Ancestry? A clan area will be at the festival, with an information tent to research your genealogy. The area also consists of a series of tents that bear the name of the clans, or families. Individuals will be dressed in their clan’s traditional tartan clothing and interact with the public throughout the event. Celtic historical information and stories will be shared.
The United Scottish Clans of Oklahoma organizes the Iron Thistle Scottish Festival, as well as several other events throughout the year. USCO will be available throughout the festival to share information about Scottish heritage, sell festival t-shirts, and accept memberships.
For more information, visit unitedscotsok.com/iron-thistle or facebook.com/ironthistle.