Scots from around the world to gather in Brunswick in August

Posted:  Thursday, July 12, 2018 - 7:00am

Brunswick, Maine will become the home of the Scots for five days in August when those of Scottish heritage gather to learn more about their ethnic history and to share their common heritage.

Beginning on Tuesday, Aug. 14 is the 1718/2018 Scots-Irish Reunion and Conference; an event 300 years in the making! The event will take place at Bowdoin College and will present the history and diaspora of our shared ancestors from the Ulster region of Ireland, who made their way to the shores of Maine and New England. The conference will continue through Friday, Aug. 17.

Tuesday will feature self driving tour of Maine Scots-Irish sites and a guided bus tour of historic Portland where the immigrant ship Robert was frozen into the harbor the winter of 1718. A visit to the 1730 Means and Tate houses will be included. A keynote dinner at 6 p.m. will welcome everyone and set the tone of the three-day conference.

Wednesday will kick off a two day schedule of roundtable discussions, speakers and presentations. Speakers have been invited from Northern Ireland, North America, New England and Maine. A roundtable discussion at 9 a.m. will welcome guests and discuss immigration. Following a buffet lunch, a roundtable discussion will explore folkways and the Ulster diaspora in Maine. Wednesday evening at 7 there will be a meet & greet gathering at the nearby Daniel Hotel. The Daniel is well known locally for its delightful selection of whiskeys.

Thursday morning there will be a church service at the First Parish Church presented in original 1718 style followed by related speakers and presentations. Throughout the day there will be more speakers, presentations and a buffet lunch. Following lunch there will be a roundtable discussion on the McFadden Somersett archeological dig. The day will be capped off by a Celtic Concert featuring noted fiddler Frank Ferrel and the Maine Highland Fiddlers. The concert will be open to the public.

Friday morning will highlight a tour of Brunswick and local area historic sites. Friday afternoon a tour will be available to the 1718 McFadden cabin site on Merrymeeting Bay where an archaeology dig has been active for the last five years. This tour will be limited to space available.

Friday night everyone is invited to a 6 p.m. Celtic Ceilidh at the Topsham Fairgrounds that will kick off the 40th annaual Maine Highland Games and Scottish Festival. The gates will open at 8 a.m. for a long day of music, dance, Scottish food and athletic competition.

Keynote speakers will be author Colon Woodard and Norman Houston, OBE, Counseller of the Northern Ireland Bureau. Northern Ireland's representative body in North America.

The conference is sponsored by the Northern Ireland Bureau, Saint Andrews Society of Maine's Highland Games, Maine Ulster Scot Project and the Scottish Government.

More information and registration details are at