Bendigo's annual Scots Day Out festival filled Rosalind Park with an array of Scottish festivities

Rosalind Park was filled with the sound of bagpipes, sword fights and all things Scotland for the annual Scots Day Out festival.

The celebrations started with the traditional march of the bands and clans down View Street.

Members from the Glenn Lachlann Estate College of Arms were bestowed with the responsibility of providing a traditional Scottish escort for the bands.

Head instructor Marcus Byron said he had been taught by his grandfather who had been a brigadier in the highland brigades in Scotland.

“We teach the martial arts of Scotland, and at highland gatherings we provide the body guards for the clans,” Mr Byron said.

“We all wear black as we are not allied with any of the clans or families.”

There were over 12 bands from around the state participating in the march, with Golden City, Maryborough and Bendigo Highland representing central Victoria.

Golden City Pipe Band

Pipe major for the Golden City Pipe Band Helen Dilks said over 12 months of practice and preparation was required for the performance.

“It’s a lot of hard work, but when it all comes together, it really is fantastic,” she said.

“That feeling when you come down View Street.

“Having so many spectators on the sidelines really makes it great, there was a lot of applause and cheering which created a real buzz.”

Scots Day Out 2018. Picture: DARREN HOWE

Scots Day Out 2018. Picture: DARREN HOWE

Event director Chris Earl said it was fantastic when all the bands and clans marched through Bendigo.

“What a fantatic sight in View Street this morning,” Mr Earl said.

“With all the bands, clans, sword groups and dancers there was quite a degree of enthusiasm and electricity in the air.

“It was just great to see all the smiles on their faces, but nothing more so than the sea of people coming down into Rosalind Park following the march of the bands.”

After the march, the festivities in Rosalind Park launched into full swing with live entertainment, dancing,  food tastings and a range of other Scottish celebrations.

“Today our great city that is Bendigo welcomed people from across Australia but also from overseas for the SDO celebrations,” Mr Earl said.

“It’s a great and unique setting and it’s why SDO is regarded as the country’s premier event for Scottish celebrations.”

One of the biggest highlights of the day for Mr Earl had been the involvement of young people.

“The next generation of torch bearers for the Scottish culture are flourishing,” Mr Earl said.

“The levels of enthusiasm and passion they’re displaying ensures we continue to be recognised around the world for our part in the world-wide Scottish family.”

SDO 2018 chieftain Bryan Coghlan said it was great to see everyone out with their tartan kilts on as it was part of Scottish heritage and tradition.

“A kilt is not something I wear everyday, but today is the day to wear it...I feel honoured to wear it,” Mr Coghlan said.

 “When SDO started there weren't many people at the events, and now five years later everyone is embracing it.

“Bendigo is such a beautiful place with many great spots… we need to ensure we celebrate what we have here in our city, it’s such a fantastic multicultural society.”

Bendigo Highland Pipe Band

An array of spectators enjoyed the excitement of SDO, and for the first time ever Bendigo man Glenn Eastwood came to check it out.

“The ambience is wonderful, absolutely brilliant. There is a lot of support here which is great,” Mr Eastwood said.

Despite only experiencing SDO for the first time, Mr Eastwood’s family has a long connection with pipe bands.

“My father used to play in the Golden City Pipe Band, so he came down and we watched the procession down View Street together,” Mr Eastwood said.