Friday, September 11, 2015

She Had to Leave Los Angeles Roadtrip: Day 1 Estes Park Festival

After some morning practice - and meeting my hotel neighbors who were very pro-pipes - I'm off to the fairgrounds for opening ceremony. Nothing quite like a bunch of kilted men playing bagpipes marching toward you! And can you believe that blue sky and puffy clouds?!

Some of the sights were familiar, like caber-tossing gigantic men, the celtic combo of haggis sided with peat-smoked pork BBQ, and beef bridie (like a meat pie), and the hourly firing of cannons.

This is something I had not seen before: jousting! This was a real competition, not some RenFaire demonstration. First was the light armor where the goal is to touch your opponent's shield at a specific spot. But this is the heavy armor, where the goal is to knock the other guy off the horse! Those of us in the stadium wanted to see an unhorsing, but it wasn't to be. I lucked out and sat by three ladies who knew the sport inside and out. I walked away knowing a lot more about jousting than when I came in.

Later that night, in the same stadium as the jousting, I saw the Tattoo. One of my Denver chums came up to festival to join the fun. She's taking the deep dive into celtic culture and hanging through Sunday. In case you don't know, a Tattoo is a parade of military bands, although this version included a steel drum band, a brass band, and a silent drill team. Oh, and more cannons. Fun, fun!!

Click here for the Longs Peak Scottish-Irish Highland Festival's website.

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