Arts & Entertainment

Become a Scot for a day at Prosser Scottish Fest

PROSSER -- If St. Patrick's Day offers the chance for anyone to be Irish for a day, The Scottish Fest in Prosser on June 20 should give Mid-Columbia residents a chance to be a Scot for at least part of one.

In its ninth year, the Scottish Fest features traditional Celtic and Scottish athletic events, food, music and entertainment.

The event begins at 8:30 a.m. at the Port of Benton Prosser Wine and Food Park at 2840 Lee Road. All-day admission is $8 for adults and $5 for seniors and children ages 5 to 12. Attendance is free for children younger than 5. The event runs until about 7 p.m.

"It's an all-day event, rock and roll," said organizer Ellen Bentley, one of many people putting the event together.

The day's final anvil launch, where an anvil is placed over explosives and rocketed into the air, will be held from 6 to 6:30 p.m., which traditionally marks the day's end, Bentley said.

Last year's event drew about 1,100, and Bentley hopes this year's attendance tops that mark. "It's very family oriented," she said.

Festival revelers will be treated to Ye Merry Greenwood Swashbucklers at 10 a.m. on the main stage, followed by the Ye Merry Greenwood Scots at 10:45 a.m. After the opening ceremonies, Parade of the Tartans and first anvil launch at noon, the River City Pipe Band of Portland takes the main stage at 1 p.m.

Other events on the main stage include the Celtic band Skweez The Weezle at 1:30 p.m., the Desert Thistle Pipe Band at 2:45 p.m. and the An Daire Academy of Irish Dance at 3:15 p.m. The River City Pipe Band, Skweez The Weezle and Desert Thistle Pipe Band then perform another rotation beginning at 3:45 p.m. A performance of Flower of Scotland concludes the main stage performances at 5:45 p.m.

The Highland Dance Competition, where more than 40 dancers from across the Northwest compete, from 9 a.m. to noon at the Benton PUD Gazebo.

A Highland Market is planned as well, where festivalgoers can choose from an international selection of food, Celtic and Scottish wares and other novelties. Twelve booths will be selling food. The Flying Anvil Pub -- the event's beer garden -- will be serving various local brews throughout the day.

The heavy games -- traditional Scottish athletic games -- begin at 8:30 a.m. with the open stone and weight over bar events. The heavy games run throughout the day on the Highland Athletics Field area of the Port of Benton Prosser Wine and Food Park.

Bentley encouraged families to attend the Scottish Fest, saying there's something for everyone.

"They're a fun group of people," she said. "We tend to look at it as a big family reunion."

Several athletic events are scheduled for children. Participants can register at the youth field in the northeast corner of the athletic grounds.

Two athletic events -- an anvil toss and keg toss -- are open to the public and don't require preregistration.

The anvil toss is at 3:45 p.m. and the keg toss is scheduled at 5:15 p.m. Both events will be held on the Highland Athletics Field.

The event's main sponsor is the Port of Benton. This year's Chieftain of the Day is the Jim and Dianne Chesley family, which has participated in the Scottish Fest for seven years, Bentley said.

For more information, call the Prosser Chamber of Commerce at 786-3177.◗ Drew Foster: 585-7207;