Parade during last year’s Scottish Festival in Kalamazoo
Men in Kilts
The 20th Annual Scottish Festival takes over the Kalamazoo County Fairgrounds from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, August 25. The celebration of Scottish culture and history kicks off, literally, at 6 p.m. on Friday with a cèilidh, the traditional, informal celebration of Scottish dance and music that encourages festival goers to join in and try their hand (and feet) at Gaelic dance. The daylong fest features herding demonstrations by border collies and parades starring representatives from some 20 clans. There are also athletic competitions in which burly men will vie for honors in the hammer toss, sheaf toss, and weight lifting/carrying events. Entertainment includes Scottish dancing performances and concerts by Embar and Whiskey Before Breakfast.
GO The 20th Annual Kalamazoo Scottish Festival, 2900 Lake Street, Kalamazoo, Michigan, 269-382-6624, kalamazooscottishfestival.org. Entry is $11.
While you’re in the area: Frank Lloyd Wright buffs should pay a visit to Kalamazoo’s Wright-planned Parkwyn Village, a showcase for the structures the architect built in 1947 as part of this planned cooperative. The neighborhood includes four Wright-designed homes—at 2816, 2822, 2806 and 2662 Taliesin Drive—overlooking a lake. About 10 miles east in Galesburg, you’ll find another community designed by Wright. Originally planned as a neighborhood for scientists at Upjohn, Galesburg’s Wright homes are at 11036, 11098, 11108 and 11185 Hawthorne Drive; click here for information. Go 50 miles northwest to Grand Rapids and tour Wright’s Meyer-May House (450 Madison SE, Grand Rapids, 616-246-4821, meyermayhouse.steelcase.com), which is open to the public from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesdays and 1 to 4 p.m. Sundays.
Where to stay: The Oaklands (1815 W. Michigan Ave., 269-387-4073, wmich.edu/oaklands) has three suites in a 133-year-old Italianate mansion on the campus of Western Michigan University; rates range from $85 to $95 a night. Radisson Plaza Hotel at Kalamazoo Center (100 W. Michigan Ave., 269-343-3333, radisson.com) is located in the central business district and offers an indoor waterfall, heated pool, and hot tub; rates range from $219 to $294 a night.
Where to eat: Fuel (2103 S. Burdick St., 269-343-0788, fuelvegetarian.com) serves vegetarian and vegan dishes in an 18-seat retro-fitted vintage service station. Fandango (247 S Kalamazoo Mall, 269-226-9800, fandangotapasbistro.com) serves tapas inspired by the Mediterranean coast of Spain.
Photograph: Courtesy of the Kalamazoo Scottish Festival Association