June 25, 2010

Front Royal Annual Celtic Festival

Kim, at the festival

ow much can I say about how much we love Front Royal? A great number of very trying circumstances came together to prompt our move to Front Royal. We knew that God was in control, but we had no idea what a wonderful place he had in mind for our new home. We also had no idea that our son would one day want to wear a kilt. We’re waiting to find out the exact tartan for Kim’s ancestry. If we don’t find that, we may get David a Unity kilt for next year’s festival.

David, dressed in his Celtic battle gear

This past Saturday, Front Royal celebrated its 2nd Annual Celtic Festival, and it was another wonderful time. It seems that something is happening in Front Royal every weekend. The town puts on a great air show, canoe and kayaking events, historic battle reenactments, There are festivals for the changing of the seasons, to celebrate the local horse farms, berry farms, and vineyards. And this past weekend, the folks from Appalachia and Shenandoah gathered in Front Royal to celebrate their mutual Celtic heritage.

I have never really paid much attention to my own heritage—perhaps because much of it seems to be apocryphal, having been passed down via word-of-mouth and embellished by each new generation. And recent events surrounding immigrants who seem to not like our nation very much have given me a bad impression of those who hold firmly to their non-U.S. culture after they immigrate. But this event allowed me the opportunity to experience a different perspective on both of these things.

An interesting looking couple

First, my wife is of Scottish descent. So when we entered the festival and were asked what clan we are part of, she was able to answer with two family names. One man looked up the ancestral name “Hamilton” and gave us some information about the Hamilton clan. It gave a context to the festival that made it very enjoyable for our family.

Then, at the Calling of the Clans, representatives from some of the larger clans carried out their ancestral national flags and stood at attention in front of the town gazebo. On their far right was the American flag. After calling the clans, they read some amazing historical documents written by the Irish, the Scottish, and the Welsh leaders from years gone by. Then everyone saluted the American flag and sang the National Anthem. It was truly inspiring to see these folks who cling dearly to a national heritage they love joining together with American pride and proclaiming their commitment to this nation.

The Calling of the Clans

David got to dress in chain mail and a knight’s battle helmet and he got to hold quite a few long swords. We met a couple of falcon trainers and got to see their birds up close. We heard a lot of great Celtic music, we saw phenomenal Irish dancing. It was a thoroughly enjoyable event. And, once again, we were reminded of how grateful we are to God for bringing us to this wonderful town.



  1. This is good to hear. I well remember praying for you during that stressful time!

  2. Thanks, Lynn. The prayers of our friends and trust in God's steadfast love and faithfulness is what got us through those very dark days. God is good!


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