The Parade of Tartans
MacRae Meadows will become a pageant of color at 11:30 AM on Sunday when more than 1,000 marchers clad in full Scottish attire and representing over 100 clans and societies, march around the track in the annual “Parade of Tartans.” The combined length of the parade often circles the track more than three times.
Since the parade’s beginning in 1975, it has become one of the most popular events of the Grandfather Mountain Highland Games. The Parade was originally conceived as a way to provide clans and societies an opportunity to participate in an important part of the activities while showing support for their organization and the Games. Although it provides a colorful vista for spectators, its principal purpose continues to be a way to foster closer family (clan) relationships.
The Parade begins with the Clan of Excellence stepping off first and serving as the lead group, followed in alphabetical order by those clans with Chiefs present, and then by all the remaining clans, septs and societies. After each group marches around the track, its banner carriers are directed to the center of the field where the Event Director musters them into formation. To close the parade, the banner carriers march behind the host pipe band around the track and in front of the review stand where banners are dipped to honor the games’ officials and dignitaries. Aye! It’s an impressive sight!
Only invited Clans who are represented at the games with Clans tents will be permitted to participate in the parade.
Each clan or society receives a parade instruction sheet in its packet outlining the procedures, along with suggested dress guidelines. Because this event is a “Parade of Tartans,” marchers are asked to be respectful of the guidelines that are designed to preserve the parade’s authentic and colorful nature.
*NO WALK UP CLANS ALLOWED