Putting the stone, bashing some haggis and throwing the Loch Ness Monster were a few of the activities featured during Payson's fifth annual Scottish Festival.
State Sen. Eldon Money, D-Spanish Fork, in his second year as grand chieftain of the event, welcomed citizens to the festival, which this year honored all veterans from the United States and abroad."We salute these veterans and honor you," Money said. "We enjoy freedom and peace because of you."
In traditional Scottish fashion a special tribute was paid to those men and women who had fallen in war and to Payson residents of Scottish descent who have died in the past year. The massed bands piped the familiar strains of "Amazing Grace" with an ending solo of "Taps."
Pipe bands from throughout the state participated in the day's events, including the band competition and drum major competition under the direction of drum major Monte Morgan, vice president of the Pacific Coast Alliance of Scottish Drum Majors.
Athletes in the Highland games competition vied to see who could throw a 56-pound weight the farthest. They also threw the Scottish hammer, similar to a cannonball on a stick, and the famous caber, a 19-foot tapered log weighing nearly 100 pounds that is tossed end-over-end.
Clansmen - MacDonalds, Campbells, Montagues, Gunns and Maclellans - were on hand to share genealogies, clan tartans and histories. The Utah Scottish Association had a booth where interested people could check out possible Scottish heritage and peruse long lists of family crests and tartans.
While children were competing in the Loch Ness Monster throw, Highland dancers were going through their paces in the grueling dance competitions, which included the popular fling, sword dance and lilt, also the less-known Seann Triubhas.
Those interested in a bit of dance history were told that the Seann Triubhas is Gaelic for "shedding trousers." Dancers go through shuffling and kicking motions as they tell the story of how the Highlander tries to rid himself of his hated pants. In 1746 the victorious English outlawed the kilt, as well as the tartan, pipes and Gaelic language. The dancer claps as he tells the piper to speed up, for the trousers are successfully off and the Highlander breaks into a fast fling step to celebrate the return of the kilt.