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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Scots Stream to Summer Stramash Party

MTA newly married couple cavorting with a bagpiper at the Stramash on Saturday. Some 200 Scots in kilts attended.
They were immortalized by a song in which they vowed to walk 1,000 miles to a woman's heart, but top Scottish export The Proclaimers added 1,600 more on Saturday to join another fugitive from Scotland -- the summer Stramash.

Although the name of the charity event -- "Stramash III: Revenge of the Haggis" -- was more than a little intimidating, a crowd of 600 streamed to the daytime celebration of Scottish culture to hear the identical Proclaimer twins, and lingered for bagpipe tunes and traditional jigs by men in kilts.

A large contingent of Russians made it to the Hermitage Garden party, which was sponsored by a prominent whiskey brand. Their attendance proved that the two peoples shared more than a patron saint, St. Andrew, said Proclaimer Charlie Reid.

"The Scots are drinkers of an international standard, but I wouldn't think of competing with the Russians," said a noticeably humbled Reid.

A tartan army of around 200 Scots in kilts was joined by revelers from Britain, Ireland, the United States, and Australia. Katie and John, who have not missed a Proclaimers concert in the last five years and dutifully made the 16,000-kilometer trip from New Zealand, said they were jet lagged but not disappointed.

"This was a good one," said Katie, who declined to give her surname. "It's like following a giant party," chimed in John, wearing a Proclaimers 2005 tour T- shirt.

Bagpipers serenaded newlyweds at nuptials taking place in the garden, while a performance on the pipes by self-taught Muscovite Anatoly Isayev was received with vigorous rounds of applause.

A stramash is defined by The Scottish National Dictionary as a commotion or ruckus. However, in the name of Scottish-Russian unity, Alan Thompson, the head of organizer The St. Andrew Society, used the Russian word for a chaotic mess to describe the party. He called it a "great bloody bardak."

The Society promotes Scottish culture in Moscow with Robert Burns supper evenings and dancing classes.

"We've always wanted to go to Russia, ever since the old days," said Reid. He then launched into a trichological tribute to President Vladimir Putin and other world leaders.

"Putin's hair is more sparse than some, it's true. But while Tony Blair is in that stage of losing quite a lot, and trying to defend it, Putin seems very confident with what he's got," said Reid, adding: "Bush of course keeps a full head of hair, but there's not much inside."

Over $2,000 was raised at a gift auction for Moscow children's charities, including Kitezh and Nastenka. Some $1,600 of that was raked in when a Rosneft executive, perhaps swimming in cash after the oil company's recent initial public offering, bid for a VIP ticket to a future Proclaimers concert.

As the setting sun cast long shadows over the garden, the event's DJ implored the remaining guests to link arms for a song. One-hundred formed a circle, and the strains of a folk tune drifted up into the evening sky.