the 2023 festival line up
The core of entertainment since the festivals inception. Smithfield Fair will return in 2023. Based out of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, the band blends original, Celtic-based songs with aspects of bluegrass, Appalachian, and other forms of American music. Their unique sound is sure to leave you pining for the "auld country".
This international touring Scots folk rock band hails from Indianapolis. Their trademark vocals, lilting Scotch-Irish fiddle and wailing bagpipe/guitar will rock you back to yer auld highland hame!
With backgrounds in Irish, Bluegrass, and Classical genres, this band prides itself in their Irish and Scottish traditional styles and will set your toes to tapping! based out of Laurel, MS., they are at home playing ceilidhs or performing slow soothing jigs and waltzes. This group also provides live music for the Jackson Irish Dancers.
Based in Dallas, Texas, This trio of musicians will wow you with their rocked up arrangements of traditional jigs and reels along with many original compositions. A combination of electric guitar, bagpipes, fiddle and didgeridoo, their music keeps you "young, free and Celtic"!
Wille Stewart Bluegrass Band
This talented group of bluegrass musicians will join Scottish tartan festival for the first time ever in 2023! Hailing from Many, Louisiana, they will take you back to your roots with their beautiful vocal harmonies and rich traditional tunes!
Two Separate Shows
A show for Scottish Breeds
A show for Non-Scottish Breeds
Conducted by Scottish Gaelic Scholar, David Gressett, learn some basics of the Scots Gaelic language and maybe even sing the children’s song, Old MacDonald in Gaelic!
Jackson Irish Dancers
Since 1998, Jackson Irish Dancers have brought Irish dance events to Mississippi and beyond. , from the up-on-your toes Riverdance-style solo dance to the casual fun of céilí dancing, sets and sean-nós (old-style) dance., they are sure to please audiences of all ages!
Thistle Dancers & Pipers
This is a group of talented young people who perform the traditional Highland dances and music of Scotland. The Thistle Dancers and Pipers are located in Natchitoches, LA and will make their 2nd appearance at Scottish Tartan Festival in 2023!
Kirking of the Tartans
Gems Dance Company
This merry band of belly dancers have been entertaining the Ark-La-Tex since 2009. Their dance styles include American and Egyptian Cabaret, Folkloric belly dance, Spanish Fusion, Steampunk, and SCA inspired Medieval dance. They are joined onstage by Logjam who drum for some dance numbers as well as a guest piper!
This ceremony is held at noon following the Grand March of Clans. The brief ceremony will be led by Scottish Society Chaplain, Jeffrey Foster.
Veteran storyteller, Cryptozoologist, television personality and author of books about monsters such as Bigfoot and the Goat Man, Jeff is a direct descendant of Robert The Bruce and the Royal Stewarts of Scotland. He likes to focus on the stories with a theme of ghostly and monstrous legends and lore. Are you getting goosebumps yet?
Jeff D. Hurely
A festival veteran, Jeff will regale you with tales of Celtic adventure, humor, and excitement! Having spent most of his life on stage performing, he is an expert in captivating an audience. Be sure not to miss a single thrilling tale!
The Society for Creative Anachronism, Shire of Ardanroe chapter will join us for Medieval Combat demonstrations as well as setting up a camp with demonstrations of skills and arts common to the medieval times.
Red River Smiths
Red River Pipes
See history come alive as the members of the Red River Smiths demonstrate blacksmithing skills of yesteryear.
a marching band based out of Shreveport, LA under the direction of Pipe Major James Parker. they perform in venues around the Ark-La-Tex such as parades, Highland Games and bagpipe competitions. They also perform at smaller events requiring only one or two pipers.
This is an event sponsored by Shreveport HEMA (Historical European Martial Arts). This will occur at various times throughout the day.
Jim Greene creates tartan using wool yarn on a wooden loom. He typically demonstrates weaving a blanket of the official State of Louisiana Tartan.
see a demonstration of this historic method of spinning thread by hand.
a group of hobbyists known as the “Chip-lot-a’s” demonstrate Flintknapping. They make arrowheads and other items out of rock.
Bids of Prey Exhibit
Gaelic language workshop
Courtesy of Walter B. Jacobs Memorial Park in Blanchard, Louisiana, meet a falcon and hawk in person. Master Falconer Rusty Scarborough will teach how to identify these birds through certain identifying characteristics, as well as how they hunt for prey.
David gressett gives several lessons in Gaelic throughout the day during Scottish Tartan Festival. His experience with Scots Gaelic as well as the Welsh language spans decades.
Led by Tom McCandlish of Emerald Accent, this workshop is designed to give an insight into Irish musical culture and to teach each participant skills needed to play the Bodhran (Irish drum).
An annual competitive eating competition in which a representative of each clan attempts to down a one lb. haggis in record time. The defending champion in 2022 is Brad Petree, of Clan MacGregor.
One of the more entertaining events at the festival. The Bonniest Knees Contest is open to a limited number of men in kilts, whose knees will be felt and judged by a blindfolded lady. Defending champion this year is Pitt Merriman.
Dance around the Maypole, get your face painted, create giant bubbles, hunt for leprechaun gold, listen to a story or watch a puppet show.