Highlanders Festival at Bisset Park this weekend


A competitor in the Highland Games

Radford University's Highlanders Festival is moving down by the river.

The Oct. 4 event will for the first time in its 19-year history take place at Bisset Park, which sits on 57 acres of riverfront land.

Karen Casteele, co-chair of the Highlanders Festival committee, said the New River will provide a beautiful backdrop for the festival, traditionally held on campus.

The event, established in 1994, is a joint partnership between the university and the city of Radford and has grown to attract more than 10,000 visitors to the area.

"For years, we've had the opportunity to showcase the university," Casteele said. "This year, the city gets to show off its premiere river park."

The eclectic, kilt-optional event will feature the regular lineup of exciting Scottish games, children's activities, the BraveHeart 5K race, delicious food and vibrant performances.

Among the performers are RU staff Fritz Schindler and John Hildreth.

Schindler works as an information technology specialist at RU's Teaching Resource Center. He is also a Christian "folk and roll" musician and is scheduled to perform at 11:30 a.m.

John Hildreth, associate director of the Center for Innovative Teaching and Learning, will be performing with the Irish band, Pop Goes the Weasel. The group performs traditional Celtic music and songs, as well as contemporary music born of that tradition, such as The Pogues and U2. They are scheduled to take the stage at 2 p.m.

The Radford University Highlanders Pipes and Drums will make its debut. The student musicians are directed by associate professor Tim Channell.


Families can learn about their Scots heritage at the Highlanders Festival.

Other university participants include:

  • The Improv Club's Pridemore Playtime Players will perform "The Trials of Isabella – a Commedia" at 3 p.m. in Shelter No. 1.
  • The Health and Human Performance Club will assist with the children's games.
  • Jewelry and ceramics students will be selling their wares.
  • The Music Therapy Club will participate in a drumming circle.
  • Professor Richard Bay will be making masks.

Transportation to the event will be provided by Radford Transit. A special route will run from 10:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. on a 20-minute schedule, picking up in Lot A and dropping off at the Bisset Park Gazebo. Parking is also available at the park.

For more information on the festival, visit the Highlanders Festival homepage.

Information on the 5K can be found at http://www.visitradford.com/BraveHeart_5K-for_the_American_Heart_Association.aspx.

Sep 30, 2014