Warm weather draws big crowds at the Scottish Festival in Huntersville

A crowd of more than 10,000 who turned out for the two-day Rural Hill Scottish Festival in Huntersville made it one of the biggest ever, festival officials said.

Charlotte-area residents wore kilts and enjoyed traditional Scottish food, culture and competitions during festival this weekend.

“It is the best year we’ve had in a long time,” said Jeff Fissel, executive director of Rural Hill. “We had a great weekend.”

Festival participants enjoyed live entertainment from a variety of pipe bands and musicians as well as traditional sheep-herding demonstrations and battle-axe challenge matches.

“We want to celebrate the Scottish/Irish heritage that is so common in Mecklenburg County,” Fissel said. “It’s a service to the community to educate people on what our ancestors did and have a good time.”

Sunday’s festivities included Celtic entertainment, the Parade of Tartans and Massed Bands performance and an Amateur Scottish Athletic competition.

The festival ended its celebration at Sunday afternoon with the singing of “Auld Lang Syne.” Amanda Harris