When I visited the Old Orchard Beach Scottish Festival last year, its first year, I thought that it had a lot of potential to be a great festival in the future, so I decided that I would register for a booth to feature my photography from my trip to Scotland in late July and August of 2016.
I'm glad I did!
This year's festival was a lot better! Major improvements were made. First, there were plenty of portable toilets delivered. this added to the convenience for both exhibitors, and patrons alike. Another major addition was Fellswater, an amazing Celtic band from the Boston area. Returning again, were headliners Albannach, and Baritone crooner, Charlie Zahm. I had placed my booth near where Charlie sings, which added to the experience of the day. The pipe band numbers were increased, as was the size and scope of the Highland games. Food choices were also better. there were more authentic Scottish foods available, such as meat pies, and Haggis. Camerons from New Jersey attended, and their quality is well known around the northeast.
The crowd was also bigger. A $5 entrance fee was charged at the gate, and I think that this is very reasonable, and it will help the festival expand in the future; but more on that in a bit.
I met some wonderful people at the festival. Many had visited Scotland, were going to visit Scotland this year, or were originally from Scotland. many people recognized the places in my images, and that led to some great conversations. My favorite moment of the festival was when a couple, who had visited Scotland last year, saw the 20" X 30" panoramic canvas of the "Three Sisters of Glencoe" that I had exhibited. It was their favorite spot in Scotland, and brought back fond memories for them. They just had to have it! What a wonderful feeling to have your photography touch people in such a way! Another great moment was when, a young lady who had studied abroad in Scotland last year, noticed a print of Dean Village in Edinburgh. It was her favorite spot in the city! She grabbed it, and showed it to her mother, saying: "See, this was the spot I was telling you about! It is so beautiful!"
I am planning on reserving space for next year's OOB Scottish Festival! I'm sure it will be even bigger and better than this year's edition! Albannach has already committed, as has Celtic rock band out of Vermont, Prydein, and the Screaming Orphans, a Celtic band from Ireland. I'm sure that Charlie Zahm will also attend.
Next Year's OOB Scottish Festival will be held on June, 2 2018. Be there! I know I will!
Dean Village Morning