DUNEDIN— Aye, it was all about Irish leprechauns this week, but Scotland rules Saturday as the Dunedin Military Tattoo — a musical massing of Scottish clans, flags, pipers, dancers and drummers — takes to the Dunedin High School stadium field.
The time-honored Tattoo kicks off a week of Scottish merriment with dinners and whiskey-tasting events. It culminates with the 44th annual Dunedin Highland Games, slated for March 27 at Highlander Park.
The Tattoo gets started a wee bit earlier this year, at 7 p.m.
"We're going to get it done in two hours this year with no intermission," said Sandy Keith, president of the Highland Games and Festival Committee. "They're predicting good weather, and we should be done before it chills off."
This year, the Tattoo features the U.S. Marine Corps Logistics Band from Albany, Ga. Formed in 1990, it is one of 12 bands in the Marine Corps. During 2009, the 50-member ceremonial ensemble traveled more than 50,000 miles to perform at more than 100 venues throughout the United States.
Dunedin's middle and high schools, the city and a variety of other kilt-clad groups will perform in front of a backdrop of an "ancient castle."
The honorary Chief of the Day, Fergus Wood, provost of Stirling, Scotland, will oversee the Tattoo and next Saturday's Highland Games. Dunedin and Stirling have enjoyed a "sister city" relationship since 1964.
"He'll be meeting with city officials to discuss economic development and tourism," Keith said. "He also wants to see the osprey nest."
That's in reference to the popular Osprey Cam Project, which offers online views of osprey feeding their young in a nest on the Pinellas Trail in Dunedin.