11th Annual Tartan Day South Celebration
Thursday, April 4 - Sunday, April 7Free – $25.00
Tartan Day South honors the Celtic culture and heritage in South Carolina’s Midlands region. The traditions of the United Kingdom – Ireland, Scotland and England are showcased. The main event is in Cayce at the Historic Columbia Speedway on Saturday. Other free and paid events are held in West Columbia, Cayce and Lexington. The event is held to benefit the nonprofit River Alliance, which strives to connect people to our rivers – Broad, Saluda and Congaree – while protecting these bodies of water.
Thu, April 4
Tartan Day South Kick-Off Party
Location: Steel Hands Brewing | 2350 Foreman Street, Cayce SC
Event Starts: 7:00 PM |Free | Presented by 102.3 Columbia’s Classic Rock
Fri, April 5
Location: Icehouse Amphitheater | 107 West Main Street, Lexington SC
Featuring Eireann’s Call, Tuatha Dea, and SYR
An evening of Celtic culture featuring music, demonstrations and artistic exhibitions.
Bring a stadium cushion or blanket (no coolers allowed)
Sat, April 6
Tartan Day South Highland Games & Celtic Festival
Location: Historic Columbia Speedway | 2001 Charleston Highway, Cayce SC
Gates Open: 8:30 AM
Traditional Dancing Exhibitions
Great Celtic Music
Mass Pipe Bands
Sheep Dog Herding Exhibitions
Birds of Prey Exhibitions
Traditional Foods & Drink
Classic British Car Show
Celtic Clans & Societies
Kids Rides and Play Area
Scottish Military History Presentations
Drumsmoke – An Evening of Campfires, Music and Tribal Beats
Location: Historic Columbia Speedway Campground | 2001 Charleston Highway, Cayce SC
Event Starts Around: 7:00 PM | Free
The FREE event is open to everyone and will take place at the Historic Columbia Speedway campgrounds on Saturday night following the conclusion of the Highland Games & Celtic Festival’s activities around sundown. Tuatha Dea will be on hand to lead the drumming experience.
Click here for online camping registration.
Sun, April 7
Kirkin’ of the Tartans
Location: West Columbia Riverwalk Amphitheater | 109 Alexander Road, West Columbia, SC
Event Starts: 11 AM | Free
What is the Kirkin’ of the Tartan?
Here is a little bit of the history of the custom.
After the Battle of Culloden on April 16, 1746, the English Parliament banned wearing tartan, speaking Gaelic, Scottish music, dancing, or playing the pipes. Any person caught doing anything of these could be shot on sight, arrested, or exiled to the colonies. This ban lasted for 36 years.
Legend says the Highlanders devised a plan to hide a piece of tartan in their clothing during church. At a set time during the service, they would hold the tartan and bless it. When the Scots were forced to fight for the British Army, it is said that the women would take a piece of their tartan to the Kirk (church) to be blessed and to pray for the protection of their clan. Thus came the Scottish celebration is known as the Kirkin’ O’ the Tartan.
The Kirkin’ is celebrated by Scots – and those who would be Scots – accompanied by prayer, scripture, preaching, blessing, bagpipe, and of course, the singing of Amazing Grace. Now, in present-day celebration, the Highlander patriotism, faithfulness, and strong independence are remembered by the displaying of tartans and a public parade of the clans to the sound of the bagpipe.