By Paige Nash
Despite the wind and chill in the air yesterday morning representatives for the Scottish Tartan Festival were dressed to the nines in their kilts atop the hill at Miller Quarters.
A member of the Scottish Society of the Louisiana Highlands was present to bring warmth to the start of the event by performing a tune with a bagpipe, a traditional instrument made highly popular by the Scottish.
Members of the Webster Parish Tourism Board, along with many local leaders and citizens were in attendance to hear a formal announcement made by Serena Gray, Executive Director of Webster Parish Convention and Visitors Commission.
“I am joined this morning by Mrs. Johnnye Kennon, who all of you know and love. We have been really excited about the development of this property and what it can be used for as we grow and continue to host festivals and events in our community,” Gray said. “This morning, as you are all aware, we are announcing that the Scottish Tartan Festival is going to remain in Minden.”
This will be the 21st year for the Scottish Tartan festival. In previous years it has been held at the Scotland Farms located on Highway 518. Due to unforeseen circumstances, the festival had to relocate following the 2022 season.
The Scottish Society was approached by a group in Central Louisiana, and they considered moving the festival outside of Minden but due to efforts and a lot of arduous work by Kennon and members of the tourism board, they were able to bring this annual event to the heart of downtown Minden.
“We knew as soon as they had grown as much as they had that they were going to need more space. The vendors are excellent, and the culture is alive and thriving,” said Gray.
Due to the lack of pavement along with the usual, substantial amounts of rain in the month of April, one of the fundamental issues with having the festival at their previous location was the parking.
Steven Webb, Co-chair of the festival and member of the Scottish Society of the Louisiana Highlands said, “On behalf of myself and our group, thank you all for being here and a big thank you to the City of Minden and the Webster Parish folks. We can’t tell you how excited we are to have the Tartan Festival here in Minden. We wanted to keep it here. We couldn’t imagine having this anywhere else.”
Webb announced the festival will be introducing new features to the event, such as Highland games. This will be in addition to an already jam packed day full of food, music, dancing, demonstrations and vendors.
The Scottish Tartan Society also received a tourism grant in the amount of $4,000 from WPCVC.
So, get ready to pull on your kilts and mark your calendars for April 22, 2023.
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