homepage logo

Tartan Day ‘ceilidh’ to be held at Cape Coral Yacht Club; Event to feature music, fun for all

By Staff | Apr 1, 2008

Tartan Day is celebrated April 6 across the United States by Americans of Scottish descent. The U.S. Senate unanimously passed a resolution March 20, 1998, designating this day to honor and celebrate the contributions of Scottish-Americans.

On Saturday, Scottish-Americans from Southwest Florida will hold their own Tartan Day at the Cape Coral Yacht Club featuring live music, entertainment and refreshments.

Mary-Alice Reeseman, a member of the Lee County Pipes and Drums of Southwest Florida, which will perform at the event, said a tartan is actually a plaid print which is specific to one’s family.

“Scottish would typically wear their plaid (tartan) as a shoulder scarf or as their kilt,” said Reeseman. “The red and green plaid that you usually see people wearing around Christmas belong to the royal Stewart family.”

Reeseman explained that another reason the Scottish are so proud to wear their tartans is because before 1782, it was illegal to wear them by British law.

“It was made illegal to wear them because the British considered the tartans to be an instrument of war as most of the times the pipers would lead the troops into battle with the British,” said Reeseman. “They only allowed us to wear them when they asked us to fight alongside them.”

Scottish men and women will wear their tartans with pride at the upcoming celebration, also known as a “ceilidh.”

“A ceilidh is like a big social gathering or party,” said Reeseman. “Originally they were held in homes and everyone who came would participate by doing something entertaining for the crowd.”

At the upcoming Tartan Day celebration, attendees will be asked to join in the grand march to kick off the event. Reeseman describes the march as individuals breaking up into groups and following a pattern.

“People coming will also be asked to bring in a dish to share with everyone,” said Reeseman. “It’s like a potluck.”

Featured entertainment will include a performance by The Windbreakers, a trio that plays Celtic and more popular modern music, and a performance by the Lee County Pipes and Drums of Southwest Florida, which is hosting the event.

“The small pipes will also play traditional Scottish music,” said Reeseman. “The whole evening is a great new way to meet people, socialize and celebrate your heritage.”

Reeseman added that attendees do not need to be Scottish to enjoy the evening as many other people from all backgrounds and walks of life will come out to have a good time.

“Some of the people who have the most fun are not even Scottish,” she said.

The event will run from 7 to 10 p.m. Tickets, which are limited to 300, are $20 for an individual and $50 for a patron. It is highly recommended that you call ahead for tickets and seating is reserved. The event is also BYOB.

Money raised from the event will go directly to benefit Hope Hospice. In the past the event has raised $1,800 for the local charity.

The Cape Coral Yacht Club is located at 5819 Driftwood Parkway. For more information or to purchase tickets, call 418-1519 or 542-1859.