Beginning Sunday, June 16, at 10 a.m., the area surrounding St. Columba’s Episcopal Church will be filled with the sound of bagpipes. That’s right. Bagpipes.

It’s the signal that the church is celebrating the day of its patron saint, St. Columba. He was responsible for bringing Christianity to Scotland in the sixth century.

Since the founding of St. Columba’s Church in Big Bear its parishioners have honored the saint each year with a number of Scottish rituals.

The celebration is no different this year, in fact it promises to be even bigger, according to Mary Wilson, chair of the St. Columba’s Bishop’s Committee, the body responsible for leading the local church.

“Yes, we have Scottish descendants in our parish,” Wilson said. “But this year we are extending an invitation to all Big Bear citizens who can trace their ancestry back to Scotland, as well as their friends.”

In addition to the bagpiper, there is a blessing of the Tartans, the plaid design unique to each family of Scottish origin. Some participants have been known to wear their kilts.

Those in attendance will also hear the story of St. Columba, and are invited to try haggis, a traditional Scottish dish consisting of the heart, liver and lungs of a sheep or calf, mixed with onions, oatmeal and seasoned to taste.

For those deciding to forgo the haggis, there is a nice bottle of Scotch on hand. Topping things off, members of the church bring their best homemade dish for a luncheon buffet open to the public. Those interested in learning more about this special event may call the parish at 909-866-7239.

St. Columba’s Episcopal Church is at 42324 North Shore Drive, Big Bear Lake.

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