photo courtesy of Lyon College
The Arkansas Scottish Festival, held every April on the Lyon College campus, is a celebration of Presbyterian and Scottish heritage. 2018 is the 39th year for the festival and it is, and has been, the largest event for the city of Batesville since its inception. This year, the Festival is expected to move beyond its normal confined area (the Mabee-Simpson Library to the Chapel parking lot), to include the intramural field for some of the events. There have also been mentions that the Festival this year may even stretch as far as Edward’s Commons.
For those that have never been to the Arkansas Scottish Festival, here is a preview of what to expect, courtesy of Lyon’s very own Pipe Major, James Bell. “It is expected over the course of the weekend for about five to six thousand people to come participate in the Festival and visit the twenty (20) vendors we have planned to set up shop on our campus. Some of the events we will have this year are: heavy athletics on the intramural field, Celtic entertainers, Celtic dancers, pipe band performances, a dog show, a Presbyterian church service, and a vintage car show. Our vendors include traditional Scottish and Irish fares, wares, and visiting with the various clans.”
Along with these vendors and events, Lyon is providing additional entertainment and fun. A book fair will be held in the Mabee-Simpson Library; the Lyon College Fighting Scots softball team has double headers scheduled (Friday the 13th at 2 pm and Saturday the 14th at noon) out at Howard and Mary House Field; and finally, Lyon’s Greek Life is keeping with the the tradition of being involved by hosting their own booths. The sororities (Phi Mu, Chi Omicron, and Alpha Xi Delta) proudly stated that they would be selling snacks while offering fun things for the kids (i.e. Phi Mu is doing face painting), while the fraternities are sticking with their traditions of big fun and snacks. Tau Kappa Epsilon is bringing back the much beloved giant ice cream sandwiches while Kappa Sigma has a variety of activities lined up, including: a car smash, a dunk tank, and drink sales. Zeta Beta Tau is keeping their plan a secret for the moment, but speculation holds that they may be hosting another heckler booth. There is also a Kilted Mile scheduled for Friday the 13th at 5:30 pm; it is scheduled to start at 12th and Main with a men’s and women’s category competing for cash prizes.
The best advice that we here at the Highlander can offer to those attending Scottish Festival is to put on lots of sunscreen and have fun! Expect many happy dogs to be wandering around with their owners (including Lyon’s own Ambassadog Wendy) while the sound of bagpipes fill the air, mingled with laughter and music as Arkansas celebrates the 39th Scottish Festival.