I am honored and excited to be invited again to emcee this year’s Whidbey Island Highland Games. Last year was stunning for many out-of-towners who had visited Whidbey for the first time.
All of us, visitors and participants alike, felt something really special there. Was it the camaraderie you afforded us? Was it the mass pipe bands that brought so many chills and so much pride? Was it the island itself that awakened memories deep in our cell of Celtic Cairns, moors, spays and glens?
The Whidbey Island Highland Games gave many of us the excuse to tour more of the area, which had to have brought economic benefits.
Gas stations, grocery stores, restaurants and motels had to have registered an uptick. That is what these games do.
They give people a morale boost, they add to the prosperity of the area, they get the host area onto the traveler’s map and they serve as one of those events or programs that bonds a community in a common endeavor to “show your wares.”
Congratulations to all who provide the seed money, the support and the volunteering. Your impact is bigger than you think. In fact, it is enviable to many other communities.
It doesn’t matter what your ancestry is because these games represent a cultural education and a fun one, as a way to provide a living history lesson. But to the Celt, so many of which populated our state as trappers, traders, frontiersman, soldiers and settlers: the Irish, the Welsh, the Brittons from Brittany in Northern France, the Scot, the Galatian from Northern Portugal, the Manx from the Isle of Man, the descendants of the proud Picts of Alba, (Scotland’s former name), and the French whose former name was Gaul, (which in Latin means Celt), all find a connection to their bloodlines through this event.
You have probably heard this said before, but it is worth the repeat. There are three types of people on the planet; those who make things happen, those who watch things happen and those who say, “What happened?” You make things happen. It is not who we are if we do show up, participate, volunteer and donate.
Who are we if we don’t?
I am looking forward to being with you again.