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TPWD News Release — March 25, 2013

National Tartan Day Set at Abilene State Park

Park to Host Second-Annual Celtic Heritage Celebration

TUSCOLA—The Celtic celebration lives on for weeks past Saint Patrick’s Day during the upcoming Second-Annual National Tartan Day Festival, scheduled for Sat. April 6 at Abilene State Park.

Tartan Day festivities commemorate the Irish and Scottish influence on the history and settlement of the U.S., with an estimated 11 million Americans claiming Scottish-Irish heritage. The day’s agenda of activities at Abilene State Park is set to last from morning till early afternoon on site at the scenic, oak-laden park—which turns 80 years old in 2013, and is one of the first in the Texas State Park system when developed by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the early 1930s.

 The day starts with a 5k Run at 9 a.m., sponsored by the Friends of Abilene State Park ($10 early registration fee for the 5k; $15 registration for the race on the day of), followed by a Texas Tartan Walk at 11 a.m., open to everyone. Various cultural demonstrations will go from noon-2 p.m., during which will be an intermission and the children’s Highland Games—a series of traditional Celtic games to show strength and skill.

Headlining the entertainment is Patrick Regan, (whose presence is made possible by a grant from the Texas Commission on the Arts), a renowned performer who brings his unique shtick of bagpipe music and interpretive stories, such as The Bagpiper at the Alamo. Other entertainment will include musicians, dancers, bagpipers and folklore story telling. The park’s friends group will also have refreshments available for purchase throughout the day.

Normal state park entrance fees will apply for Tartan Day ($5 per person for adults ages 13 and older; children ages 12 and younger always receive free entrance), but anyone dressed in a kilt or plaid outer garment will receive $2 off the regular entrance fee price. People are encouraged to bring blankets or lawn chairs for seating.

For more information, call the park directly at (325) 572-3204, or visit the park’s Web site at, or for more details on the history of National Tartan Day, visit