This morning I rose at 7:30 a.m. Tom and I had a continental breakfast at the Amerisuites Hotel where we’re staying. We saw several in kilts in the lobby who were already on their way to the festival, even though opening ceremonies weren’t until 10 a.m. We arrived at the Lamar Dixon Expo Center in Gonzales in time to see the parade of the clans and the honoring of the seven Celtic nations: Wales, Ireland, Scotland, Cornwall, Isle of Man, Galicia, and Brittany.
Tom and I visited with friends, listened to some great music, and watched some fantastic Irish and Scottish dancers. We strolled by the several vendor booths, examining and purchasing a little merchandise. After listening to the last public performance of Paisley Close, we visited with our good friends in that band, Sydney, Amy, Rabbit, Hobie, and Bernard, and wished them good fortune. We returned to the hotel around 3:00 p.m. to dress in our kilts and take a nap if possible. We had a few logistical problems, so there was no nap. We returned at 5:00 to the center, had a wonderful meal of white beans, jambalaya, boudin, bread, haggis, and King Cake. We heard some more music, participated in the Ceili after dinner, and visited some more with friends. Paisley Close was just beginning to feel the implications of this being their last public performance together. It was very much like a death: you feel it immediately, but you know the full feelings won’t register until later. I know they will grieve deeply, because it is obvioius they love each other deeply. Tom and I returned to our room by ten, our heads and hearts full of memories of the past two days.
We’ll rise early to return to Monroe tomorrow, returning to work and chores and responsibilities. Tomorrow night at 6 p.m. we’ll be on KEDM during Celtic Connections to raise money for the station. Wish us luck.