Tattoo Tips for Celtic Fans
WHERE TO SIT
Lower Level 200
The lower 200 level seats are just close enough. They give you a great view of the show’s spectacular movements and displays, plus you’ll have a great view of all of the pipers and dancers.
WHERE TO EAT
Hullabaloo – Thursday-Saturday 4:30 – 7:30 PM; Sunday 11:30 AM- 2:30 PM
There is something for everyone, from pizza to pretzels, from hotdogs to gyros, from smoothies to craft beer. Average Price: $8 -$15 per person. Enjoy your meal in a festive atmosphere. There are plenty of seats and tables around the plaza. Try Music & Might Red Ale, an O’Connor Brewing Company special brew created for the Tattoo!
Also, check out nearby favorites like Grace O’Malley’s Irish Pub and Restaurant and Murphy’s Irish Pub in Virginia Beach.
WHAT TO SEE IN THE SHOW
Pipes and Drums
So many pipers and drummers performing together and they only just met on Sunday!
Luckily the Pipe Major and Drum Major have been working on the sets for several months. The Pipe Major selects all of the music, writes scores and ensures the musical integrity of the performance. The Drum Major designs and oversees all of the movement on the floor.
Celtic Culture in Australia and Canada
Many performers like pipe bands and dancers who are typically associated with the United Kingdom are from Australia and Canada. As a result of the British colonies, both countries have a large Celtic population and fantastic Highland dancers, pipers and drummers.
Middle Eastern Pipe Band
The Jordanian Armed Forces Band established in 1921, has grown to include a female pipe band. Jordan was a British protectorate, a territory over which the British government exercised limited jurisdiction.
Movie Music on Bagpipes
One of the most beautiful songs and scenes of the Tattoo is called The Gael and was featured in the movie Last of the Mohicans. You’ll know it when you hear it, but more importantly, you’ll feel it!
Keep an ear out for a pipe tune that sounds reminds you of a 1980’s movie that has a sequel coming out next year. If you can guess this then you are definitely a top gun.
Music from Film and Television will include Last of the Mohicans “The Gael”, Game of Thrones, Kill Bill, The Avengers, Captain from Castille, and Top Gun (performed on Bagpipes!)
This modern Scottish folk ballad, by The Gael composer Dougie MacLean, is about Caledonia, the Latin word for Scotland.
FUN & FREE OUTDOOR EVENTS
Thursday-Saturday 4:30 – 7:30 PM
Sunday 11:30 AM- 2:30 PM
Lots of great activities 3 hours prior to Tattoo, Scope Plaza, Free
Performances - Daily
Many of the performers who are in the Tattoo also perform at the Hullabaloo. It’s a bonus opportunity to see them provide a less formal performance. Expect lots of music, dance and drill!
DrumLine Battle - Daily
Drumlines battle in a head-to-head competition to see who will win based on a combination of drumming skills, movement, visuals, stick tricks, stunts and overall showmanship. Expect the unexpected! Hula-hoopers and dancers have participated in the past.
Meat Pies and Tartan - Daily
Scottish food and merchandise vendors on-site!
NATO FLAG RAISING
Thursday 5:00 PM Scope Plaza, Free
Enjoy a cultural sampling of music and a colorful display of NATO Member Nation flags, uniforms and anthems in this military presentation representing all 29 NATO Member Nations.
NATO PARADE OF NATIONS
Saturday 10:30 AM Downtown Norfolk, Free
The oldest continuously-held parade in the region and the only one in the United States honoring NATO features floats representing each of the 29 NATO Nations in addition to U.S. and International Military and high school bands.
NORFOLK NATO FESTIVAL INTERNATIONAL VILLAGE
Saturday 11:30 AM – 3:30 PM Town Point Park, Downtown Norfolk, Free
Immediately following the Parade of Nations, join in a celebration and appreciation of our local NATO Headquarters. Interact with NATO Representatives and visit their 29 Member Nation tents in the NATO Village. Explore international heritage with cultural performances, international art, cuisine and craft beers. Come celebrate with the whole family in a European Street fair atmosphere in Downtown Norfolk. Kids can get stamps in their NATO Explorer Passport.
VIRGINIA INTERNATIONAL TATTOO AMERICAN PIPE BAND CHAMPIONSHIP
Saturday 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM Competition; 6:00 PM Massed Bands & Awards
Scope Plaza, Norfolk, Free
The 3rd Annual Virginia International Tattoo American Pipe Band Championship will feature Grade 2 and Grade 3 pipe bands from around the world.
HIGHLAND HEAVY ATHLETIC CHAMPIONSHIP
Sunday 11:30 AM – 2:00 PM Green Space across from Scope Plaza, Norfolk, Free
Yep, they will be flipping logs! The Virginia International Tattoo is partnering with Brute Strength Gym for a Heavy Athletic Championship, Highland-style, with a caber toss, keg toss and more.
NORFOLK NATO FESTIVAL’S RUGBY EXHIBITION MATCH
XV du Pacifique French Army Rugby Team vs. Norfolk Blues
Sunday, April 28, 2019, 6:00 PM Powhatan Field, Old Dominion University, Norfolk, Free
In the NATO spirit of international friendship, join friends and family at a thrilling rugby match between the French Army Rugby Team and our hometown team, the Norfolk Blues! The French Army’s XV du Pacifique team includes a proud cohort of Pacific Islanders and as part of the event, they will perform the haka, a ceremonial dance in Maori culture. A fascinating day of rough and tumble fun!
For more things to do during the Tattoo weekend visit here!
For more information on regional Attractions visit here!