Larry Hay has organized the many Scottish clans who attend the Colorado Scottish Festival for more than 15 years.
A colorful and engaging character, Larry works tirelessly to encourage Americans to learn about their Scottish heritage, emcees the popular “Bonnie Knees Contest” at the Festival and leading the clans on parade during the noon ceremonies at the Festival.
Larry’s own family clan — Clan Hay — is one of the oldest and a major clan of Scotland. Larry is a long-time member of the American Branch of the Clan Hay Society, which was founded in 1951 and today has branches in the UK, Continental Europe, USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
Larry says it is very satisfying to see visitors to the Colorado Scottish Festival find their “cousins” among the 25 or more clans that attend, and he is heartened by the camaraderie among the clans at the Festival.
He remembers one incident particularly well. He was contacted by a woman from Kansas concerned that there was no Clan Muirhead in the United States. Larry showed her how to get started, including inviting her to come a day early to the Colorado Scottish Festival. There, he introduced her to other Clans, and was very pleased to see those Clans helping her with advice on how to set up a clan tent, how to gather items to illustrate Clan Muirhead’s past, etc. It was really heartwarming, he says, and today the Clan Muirhead is not only alive and well, but has won the “Best Clan Tent” and “Best Clan Parade,” and has members who attend the Festival every year from Kansas.
Larry says the clans love to come to the Colorado Scottish Festival. “The clans are very loyal to our Festival,” he says, “because we try very hard to make the Festival “Clan-centric. They are treated well and we recognize the hard work and important contributions they make to the success of the Festival.”
In addition to his interest in Scottish clans, Larry is also an historian and a vexillologist: he collects and studies flags.
With a BA Cum Laude from the University of Georgia, Larry is Board Member and Finance Chair of Dienen, Inc., a manufacturer of orthotic and prosthetic products; Director and Partner with Mantucket Capital Management Corp.; and Chairman of the Board of Applejack Wine and Spirits.