The 13th annual Tartan Day at the Reynoldsburg Senior Center and in Huber Park on Saturday, April 10, will feature authentic Scottish music, activities, food and more.

The 13th annual Tartan Day at the Reynoldsburg Senior Center and in Huber Park on Saturday, April 10, will feature authentic Scottish music, activities, food and more.

The yearly celebration of all things Scottish is sponsored by the Mid-Ohio Scottish Heritage Society, the Daughters of Scotland and the Scottish American Military Society. The event is held in Reynoldsburg because the community was largely settled by Scots from Truro, Nova Scotia, in the early 1800s.

Tartan Day is free and open to the public in Huber Park and at the senior center, 1520 Davidson Drive. Hours are 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Margaret McCullough, chairman of the Tartan Day Committee, said the official Tartan Day celebration was first recognized on April 6, 1998, and has been celebrated on that day nationally ever since.

McCullough said for purposes of enabling more folks to attend the event in Reynoldsburg, it is scheduled for the following weekend.

"The entire Reynoldsburg area was founded by about six or seven Scottish families, among them the families of Alexander Livingston and James Graham," she said. "Tartan Day is the recognition of people with Scottish heritage to celebrate all of the activities that Scottish people have done and brought to the United States.

"Some of those things include sheep-herding, curling and Scottish piping and dancing, which will go on through out the day," she said.

McCullough said the tartan is a Scottish family plaid with a specific pattern. She said the Ohio version is red, white and blue, with some gold lining to depict the colors of the state seal.

"The Ohio Scottish Tartan was designed in 1984 by a woman in Zanesville, (Merry Jane McMichael, who recently passed away), to bring those colors into a piece of cloth with so many blues, reds and lines of gold in it to distinguish the presence of the sheaves of wheat and the water of the great lakes," McCullough said.

She said Tartan Day usually draws a about 200 people to Reynoldsburg throughout the day.

"What we do on Tartan Day is introduce Scottish dancing and music to people who may not have an opportunity to learn about it any other way," McCullough said.

Some of this year's acts will include traditional Scottish music by Capital City Pipes and Drums, the Cyril Scott Pipe Band, the Mad Maudlin Band, Scotch Measure and dancing performances by the Columbus Scottish Highland Dancers.

"The dancing is very similar to square dancing," McCullough said. "In fact, square dancing came out of a lot of the Welsh and Scottish country dancing."

The April 10 event will also include sheep-herding demonstrations with border collies herding dogs demonstrating how they herd.

McCullough said new this year will be demonstrations of traditional Scottish athletic games. These will be stage at the baseball diamond in Huber Park next to the Senior Center.

"We'll have what they call 'big man' competitors who will toss cabers, which are 300-pound, long, wooden telephone poles," McCullough said. "These guys are phenomenal. They're all in kilts and have shoulders about as big as a barn door, and they also toss weights like a hammer toss and throw a sheaf of hay over a pole to see how high they can toss it," she said.

McCullough said another Tartan Day attraction will be a display of ancient Scottish weaponry.

Food served will include sausage rolls and homemade shortbread and the dancing club will have traditional bake sale items and fern cakes.

"It's a great time," she said. "Stay as long as you like. We'll have a Celtic harper that will play and sing Scottish music. It's just a fun time for everyone," McCullough said.

dowen@thisweeknews.com