Alma Welcomes 40th Highland Festival
Alma suddenly finds itself crowded with kilts, bagpipes and everything Scottish as the 40th Alma Highland Festival kicks off Friday, May 25 and continues through Sunday, May 27.
As always, Alma College has an integral presence at the festival.
College staff, faculty, administrators and students are involved in important work that benefits the festival, college and celebratory atmosphere. Days before festival guests begin to arrive, maintenance, grounds and housekeeping staff hurry to repair, replace, beautify, clean and prepare the campus and facilities to accommodate guest needs and comfort. Festival Coordinator Paula Moeggenborg says these workers are a great help to the festival committee and volunteers.
“They do most of the prep work before we come in, “says Moeggenborg. “The guests frequently compliment the great facilities and beautiful campus, which helps promote the festival.”
Admissions Director Evan Montague believes that the campus not only keeps people coming back to the festival year after year, it also appeals to the youth in attendance, which may influence them to consider Alma College as a future school.
“The fact that the festival is held in Alma and that attendees have a good experience in our beautiful community and on our campus is the true admissions experience that future students will remember,” Montague says.
Admissions staff will be recruiting and volunteering at the festival. They will share a tent with the Kiltie Korner, the College bookstore, to provide merchandise and information at one convenient location.
Other members of the College have important roles at the festival as well.
President Saundra Tracy will welcome guests at the opening ceremony at 1 p.m. on Saturday, May 26. Mark Starkweather, general manager of dining services at Alma College, is a past president and current member of the Highland Festival Committee. This year, Starkweather is coordinating the Ceilidh and “has done a wonderful job so far,” praises Moeggenborg.
The Ceilidh, a Scottish social event with music and dancing, begins at 6 p.m. on Saturday north of the Alan Stone Recreation Center and features Colin Grant Adams, the Chelsea House Orchestra, Hurry the Jug, and Mother Grove.
Alma College students are prominent at the festival, too. Some, in conjunction with the Human Resources and Conference Office, choose to stay on campus to provide housing service to festival guests. Other students participate in competitions and performances, including the Solo Piping and Drumming Competition at 8 a.m. on Saturday and Sunday mornings, various dance competitions on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday at 10 a.m., and the 5K Road Race beginning at 9:50 a.m. Saturday. Kelly Malburg ’09 has been crowned a member of the Queen’s Court and will be waving for the College in the Parade of Tartans on Saturday at 12:45 p.m.
The diverse events during festival weekend appeal to many people, whether it be the Kirking of the Tartan at 10 a.m. on Sunday in First Presbyterian Church, Scottish Step Lessons in Jones Auditorium at 7 p.m. on Saturday, or the popular entertainment tent open 7 to 11:30 p.m. on Friday and all day Saturday and Sunday.
For a complete listing of Highland Festival events and information, visit http://www.almahighlandfestival.com.
Posted: Tue, May 15th, 2007 at 7:38AM