Tartan Day event celebrates Scottish heritage

Charmain Z. Brackett/Correspondent
Marybeth Adams played Celtic songs on the harp during the Tartan Day celebration at the Curiosity Shop in Aiken.

Aikenites of Scottish descent celebrated their heritage and observed Tartan Day on April 5 at the Curiosity Shop.


"A lot of Scots settled in the mountains of North Carolina and in South Carolina," said Sue Ellis, of the St. Andrews Society of Aiken.

National Tartan Day is April 6, and it commemorates the 1320 signing of the Declaration of Arbroath, which asserted Scotland's claim for sovereignty from England and later would influence the United States' Declaration of Independence, according to the National Tartan Day Web site, www.tartanday.org.

It was recognized by the U.S. Senate in 1997.

Members of the St. Andrews Society played bagpipes and performed Scottish dances in front of the shop.

There were Scottish foods for sampling, including shortbread cookies, fruitcakes and Scottish eggs. People could learn about the different types of tartan patterns.

Star Lakavage, another member of the St. Andrews Society, said Scottish influences can be felt in the South, especially in the traditions of those living in the Appalachian region.

"There are strong ties to the Appalachians and Scotland," she said.

Clogging and bluegrass music have been influenced by Scottish ancestors, she said.

Tartan Day events culminated that night with a concert by Colin Grant Adams, a Scottish balladeer, at the Aiken County Historical Museum.

Reach Charmain Brackett at czbrackett@hotmail.com.