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MacAllisters hosts Scottish festival

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  • | 5:00 a.m. December 1, 2010
Malcolm and Karen Ronney with Patrick Wright
Malcolm and Karen Ronney with Patrick Wright
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LAKEWOOD RANCH — A Lakewood Ranch Main Street restaurant and local not-for-profit again are joining forces to bring awareness to all things Scottish while raising funds for pediatric brain cancer.

MacAllisters Grill & Tavern will host the St. Andrews Scottish Festival at 5 p.m., Dec. 4, at Lakewood Ranch Main Street.

Country music star David Nail, who is on tour with Lady Antebellum, again will headline the event. There also will be live performances by the Jacobites Pipes & Drum Band and local band Chameleon. Even Lakewood Ranch resident Savanna Wright, who turns 14 on Dec. 13, will perform a few songs.

“It’s going to be a celebration of all things Scottish,” said Karen Ronney, who co-owns MacAllisters with her husband Malcolm. “Sarasota was founded by the Scots back in 1885. It’s a great time (to celebrate).”

Other festivities will include face painting and other activities for children, as well as beer and wine tents, Glenlivet Scotch and Belhaven Scottish beer sampling, vendors offering Scottish-themed items, foods and demonstrations. Karen Ronney said a haggis-hurling competition — during which guests will have a chance to throw haggis, a traditional Scottish sausage, as far as they can — should prove to be the “perfect gimmick” for this year’s festival.

All proceeds benefit the Payton Wright Foundation, an organization founded by Lakewood Ranch residents Patrick and Holly Wright after their 5-year-old daughter Payton died of brain cancer in 2007. The foundation raises awareness of pediatric brain cancer and financially assists families affected by it.

“We look forward to it,” said Patrick Wright of the event. “It’s a great thing for us — the awareness.”

MacAllisters had been hosting a St. Andrews night inside the restaurant for three years before taking its Scottish celebration more public last year at the suggestion of patrons.

“It just outgrew (the space),” Karen Ronney said. “We moved it outside and made it bigger and better. It gives everybody a chance to participate in it and it’s trying to expose people to all things Scottish.”

The Ronneys originally chose to partner with the Payton Wright Foundation because the Wright family was a regular customer of the restaurant, and they supported the organization’s mission, Karen Ronney said.

With David Nail headlining the event, the festival grossed $15,000 its first year.

“We wanted to keep the momentum going,” Karen Ronney said of continuing the event this year.

Organizers hope to exceed last year’s fundraising efforts for the foundation.

Contact Pam Eubanks at [email protected].

St. Andrews Scottish Festival
WHEN: 5 p.m., Dec. 4
WHERE: Lakewood Ranch Main Street, outside MacAllisters Grill & Tavern, 8110 Lakewood Ranch Main St.
ACTIVITIES: Musical performances by David Nail, Chameleon and the Jacobites Pipes & Drum Band, face painting, children’s activities, golf demonstrations and vendors, Glenlivet and Haggis sampling, performances by the Highland Dancers and more.
COST: Free; donations accepted
BENEFITS: Payton Wright Foundation
SPONSORS: MacAllisters Grill & Tavern and the Main Street Merchant Association


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