On the morning of June 18, more than a hundred kilted and painted lads and lasses will gather on Main Street preparing to run like “Braveheart” William Wallace through the Town of Franklin. The masquerade will all be part of Franklin’s first annual Braveheart 5K benefit run.
“Proceeds from the run will benefit the museum and help fund its general operations,” explained Ronan MacGregor, of the Scottish Tartans Museum, a non-profit organization dedicated to the history and traditions of Scottish Highland culture. The museum features exhibits of the Scottish migration to North Carolina, as well as information about clan ancestry and customs.
“So far, we’ve had entries submitted from people in Raleigh and as far as Texas,” he said.
According to event organizer Dave Linn, the Braveheart route will take runners through the historical district of Franklin and its neighborhoods. “The 5K will have various hills throughout the 5K course,” said Linn, adding that one watering station will be provided for runners after one mile. An entry fee of $25 has been set to participate in the run.
Awards will be given out in the following categories:
1. Best Dressed Braveheart Individual
2. Overall Male/Female Winners
3. Male/Female Age Division Winners (1st, 2nd & 3rd)
4. “Special” Award
The race will finish at the Rathskeller Coffee Haus, where participants can partake of pastries from a local bakery along with soft drinks and beer from Asheville-based microbrewery Craggie Brewing.
The 5K run awards ceremony will be held at Rathskeller after the last individual crosses the finish line. During the awards ceremony, organizers will raffle off items donated from various businesses in Western North Carolina. Raffle drawings will be open to the public, with six tickets available for purchase at $5. Raffle prizes will be displayed at the registration tables.
The 5K run will be held in the midst of the 15th annual Taste of Scotland festival, which is scheduled from June 17 to 19. Opening ceremonies will begin at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, June 18.
The festival this year also includes two ceilidhs (a Scottish word for “visit” used to describe a party with singing, dancing and storytelling) on Friday and Saturday evenings in front of the Rathskellar Coffee Haus downtown. The ceiliedh will feature bagpipes, traditional music, food and drink.
Along with the music, the festival will feature shortbread contests, a Little Miss Tartan beauty pageant, Haggis toss, border-collie and sword fighting demonstrations, tartan parade and children’s games.
The Scottish Tartans Museum will be open for free tours throughout the festival. Franklin’s Scottish Tartans Museum is the only one of its kind in the nation and was founded by the Scottish Tartans Society, formed in Scotland in 1963. Researchers will be on hand at the Scottish Tartans Museum’s tent to research family names, determine if the name is of Scottish origin, connect you with your clan and show you your family tartan. The tartan (often called “plaid” here in America) is the traditional design identifying which clan, family, and district in Scotland your ancestors hailed from.