In 1995, Father John Pahls, an Episcopal priest, third-generation County El Paso native and a weaver, designed the pattern that became the Colorado Tartan. On January 1, 1997, the Scottish Register of Tartans accepted it as a “district” tartan that may be worn by any resident or friend of Colorado, whether or not of Celtic heritage; on March 3, 1997, the Colorado General Assembly passed a resolution adopting it as the official tartan of the State of Colorado and designated July 1 as Colorado Tartan Day. After passage of that resolution (making Colorado only the second state in the nation to have its own tartan), it was also registered with the International Association of Tartan Studies. Father Pahls was inspired by the colors of those things that are uniquely Colorado; the blue of the skies, the green of the pine and spruce trees, the lavender and white of the mountains and their snowcaps and the colors of the columbine. The gold represents the mineral wealth that helped build the state and red the sandstone soil and rocks that give the state its name. Even though the official State day is July 1, the Colorado Tartan Day Council, an auxiliary group of the St. Andrew Society has been observing it in the spring for the past eleven years to coincide with National Tartan day on April 6. This year, the celebration will be held on Saturday, April 10th from 9:00 A.M. to 4:00 P.M. in McIlvoy Park in Olde Town Arvada at Ralston Road and Upham Street where there will be performances by pipe bands, Mulligan Stew, the Rocky Mountain Highland Dancers, Moriarty/Moffit Irish Dancers, and the Ren-Scots and Castle Wall Productions, historical re-enactment groups. There will be booths with vendors offering Celtic merchandise including Thistle and Shamrock, Gilded Dragon and Calico Custom Jewelry, a magician, face painter, caricature artist and others. In addition to the Colorado Tartan, attendees will also be able to see the tartans of over 20 Scottish clans ranging from Clan Campbell to Clan Wallace at their booths. Other activities will include a Highland tea and silent auction in Bread Winners at 12:30 P.M. (rumor has it that the tea will be served by kilted-gentlemen”) and a tasting conducted by Master of Whisky Robert Sickler at 3:00 P.M. The evening will be capped off by dinner and a ceildh at the Arvada Elks Lodge just east of the Park with entertainment from Gobs O”Phun at 5:30 P.M., a kitchen pipe band competition at 7:00 P.M. and to wrap up the night, a grand set by Angus Mohr at 8:00. Admission to the park and activities there is free. Tickets will be required for the other events and may be purchased online at a discount from the price paid at the door for each event. Funds raised will be used to support the activities of the Colorado Tartan Day Council. For more information and to order tickets, please go to www.coloradotartanday.com .

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