Story and photos by Jonathon Pukila
The second day of Celtic Fair 2013 was full of a wide variety of activities and events at Fort William Historical Park. The majority of these activities and events were held within the walls of the Historic Site.
Crowds assemble inside the Great Hall for High Tea at 1:00 PM. A beautiful selection of desserts was served, ranging from scones to butter tarts, and the ever-popular spice cake.
A fiddler provides musical accompaniment.
Angus McIntyre engages the crowd in singing the “Bonnie Banks of Loch Lomond,” a Scottish folk song.
Sir Wiliam Macgillivray, the master of ceremonies, playing bagpipes in between readings of Robert Burns.
Historical re-enactors provided attendees a chance to shoot muskets for a small fee. There were three muskets to choose, from British models to an American musket used during the American Revolutionary War. Here I am firing a shot.
The Macgillivray Pipe Band, playing various songs, from “Scotland the Brave” to “Highland Laddie.”
A scotch tasting session was held later in the afternoon at the Great Hall. Lisa Wychopin, a brand representative from PMA Canada, educated participants on how to enjoy the flavour of single malt scotch whiskey. According to Wychopin, the best way to enjoy single malt scotch whiskey is with a small amount of water. This opens up the scotch to release its flavours. Drinking it “straight” (i.e. without water) is considered to be faux pas.Three of Glenfiddich’s signature brands: 12-year-old, 15-year-old and 18-year-old, were featured. Everyone, myself included, enjoyed the 18-year-old the most. The 18-year-old has a rich, fruity aroma with hints of oak. Its taste is a rich mixture of dried fruit and candied peel with oak notes, all combined in a warm, satisfying finish. The 18-year-old is similar to the 12-yea rold, but not as strong as the 12-year-old. The main event of the day was the jousting, courtesy of the Knights of Valour. Two performances were held throughout the day, and the mid-afternoon performance was heavily-attended. Knights of Valour are known from their appearance on the History Channel series “Full Metal Jousting,” where they helped trained contestants on the show. One of them even became a professional jouster shortly after the series concluded its first season.
Samples of jousting armour.
One of the jousters after a successful run.
Here’s a jouster knocking an object off the head of a volunteering squire.
A jouster in full metal armour. This suit of armour ends up in a combined weight of over 2000 lbs.
Two jousters making contact. The jousters aim for a pitted plate of armour located on the shoulder of the opposing jouster. Bonus points were offered for shattered lances and knocking a jouster off his horse.