The first thing I did of course was to follow my ears, and find the competition field for the Pipe & Drum bands.
The judges check the group for something worth points and make marks on their clipboards. These judges are extremely serious, and even cup their hands around their ears to better isolate the bagpipe sounds.
The first band I watched was the Silver Thistle. They hail from Austin, Texas. Their unit was slick and polished, and the judges were on them like fleas to a dog. I believe they performed very well.
Members of the Silver Thistle Pipe and Drum corps perform in Tulsa, Oklahoma.
Here is another example of one of the judges pacing around the group. What I really enjoyed was the fact that even the judges were dressed with great attention to detail. Just look at the shoe laces that tie up around the ankles! The very shoes are special, too. The socks look thick and wooly, and the ribbons poking out create a nice bright spark of color.
There is something about the perfection of these bands. When they are on the field everyone’s competition pour their eyes over them and discuss in great detail any possible shortcomings. Here is a picture of what I assume are members of the competition.
Above are kilted members of another pipe and drum corps.
Here is one last image that shows more about the peculiar details of clothing one can see at a Scottish Festival. Here you can see the ribbons at the back of the hat and the red pom-pom cockade and the metal badge on the left of this man’s hat.
The Oklahoma Scottish Festival was filled with regimental kilt wearers and in the next blog post I’ll show some of the other dapper and unusual Scotsmen, or should I say Scotspersons?