Wanaka's inaugural ceilidh festival promises taste of Scotland

By Sean Nugent

Event organisers Ben Clark and Claire French practise their moves ahead of the inaugural Ceilidh Dance Festival to be held in Wanaka. Photo: Garrick Cameron
Event organisers Ben Clark and Claire French practise their moves ahead of the inaugural Ceilidh Dance Festival to be held in Wanaka. Photo: Garrick Cameron

Tartans and haggis are set to take over Wanaka in two weeks' time at the inaugural Ceilidh Dance Festival, a traditional Scottish feast of music and dancing.

Up to 200 people are expected to travel to the festival at Rippon Hall and take part in dances such as the Dashing White Sergeant and the Eightsome Reel, to the music of South Island Celtic band Hair of the Dog.

Scottish delicacies such as mince and tatties, Cullen skink soup and haggis will be supplied by Wanaka catering company Morsel: The Honest Food Co.

Event organiser Ben Clark said he wanted to bring his cultural heritage to his adopted home of Wanaka.

"Ceilidh dances are part of the Scottish education system; it is a means of carrying our cultural heritage through the generations,'' he said.

"New Zealanders enjoy a great night out and there are few better things than ceilidh.''

Money raised from the festival will be donated to local groups Te Kakano and Kahu Youth, much to the delight of group leaders, respectively, Megan Williams and Richard Elvey.

"We're very thankful for the proceeds coming from this event and hugely grateful for the support from the wider community,'' Ms Williams said.

QLDC Deputy Mayor Calum MacLeod has endorsed the festival, particularly the way it is giving back to the community.

"It's fantastic to see Scottish cultural heritage on display here in Central Otago and if there are beneficial returns to the community, then I'm in.''

"I've never put on a kilt and had a bad time,'' he said.


 

- Otago Daily Times

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