Mount Dora Scottish Highland Festival is calling all Celtic connoisseurs

Event runs Saturday, Sunday in Mount Dora

The city hosts a Tartan Parade as part of the Scottish Highland Festival. (City of Mount Dora)

MOUNT DORA, Fla. – What happens when the Scottish Highlands meet Florida’s sea level? A clash of Celtic clans descend upon Mount Dora for the city’s 10th annual Scottish Highlands Festival.

The event will be held from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 19, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday, Feb. 20.

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“The festival is very important to both the city and me, personally,” said Christopher Carson, Mount Dora’s cultural and special events manager. “The City of Mount Dora is the Sister City of Forres, Scotland. The Sister Cities Program encourages and promotes the Scottish culture on a year-round basis. With the Scottish connection, the city has been very fortunate to develop a Pipe and Drum Band that they are able to call their own, as well as an officially registered tartan that is named Mount Dora.”

Those celebrating Scottish culture and heritage can enjoy a Tartan Parade and opening ceremonies before the athletic events commence in Evans Park on Saturday.

The city's Scottish Highland athletic events will run all weekend. (City of Mount Dora)

A Medieval Mile Fun Run will also be held along the lakefront, where those participating will “kilt up or wear Scottish gear” during the race, Carson said.

The events will continue on Sunday in Donnelly Park and finish with closing announcements.

Highland dancers, Scottish reenactors and musical groups, such as Celtic Conundrum, Celtica Nova, Tom Keefer, Ennis and Craig, The Byrne Brothers and the City of Mount Dora pipe band, will perform throughout the weekend festivities.

Carson also said there will be an area for all types of Scottish dance, including Highland, Irish, Country Scottish and ballet.

Celebrated violinist and former fiddler for Celtic Woman Máiréad Nesbitt will also be performing a concert at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.

Celtic violinist Máiréad Nesbitt will be performing at the Mount Dora Community Building Theater. (City of Mount Dora)

Attendees can also enjoy a British car show on the first day of the festival and free border collie demonstrations throughout the last day of the festival.

“A good number of attendees have diverse backgrounds, but enjoy being a Scot for the day!” Carson wrote in an email.

To sign up to compete in the Scottish Highland games, visit their website. To purchase tickets for the festival, click here.

About the Author:

Samantha started at WKMG-TV in September 2020. Before joining the News 6 team, Samantha was a political reporter for The Villages Daily Sun and has had freelance work featured in the Evansville Courier-Press and The Community Paper. When not writing, she enjoys travelling and performing improv comedy.