If your idea of Scottish culture can be summed up by a raging, red-bearded groundskeeper who lives in a shack by an elementary school, you should probably attend this weekend's Minnesota Scottish Fair. While groundskeeper Willie won't be there, a variety of ways to experience Scottish culture will. The annual event shows off the best of the country's food, music, dancing, and games. Scottish cuisine can be a risky proposition if you don't know what you're getting into. Vendors at this year's Scottish Fair will be slinging your typical fair food (corn, mini doughnuts, etc.), but to get the true Scottish experience, try some authentic haggis with tatties (potatoes) or clootie pie (a boiled and baked desert made with suet, breadcrumbs, and dried fruit). Scotland is also known for sports of brute strength, which will be on full display during the Highland Games. Kilted folks will compete in the caber toss (throwing a tree trunk as straight as possible), the sheaf toss (heaving a heavy bag of straw and mulch with a pitchfork), and the hammer throw, among others. Just be glad you'll be watching rather than participating. And what would a celebration of Scotland be without bagpipes? Local Scottish bands will compete in piping and drumming for bragging rights. Who needs Scottish stereotypes when you can have the real culture? For more info visit www.mnscottishfair.org or call 952.470.6300.
Sat., May 9, 9 a.m.-7:30 p.m., 2009