No, not that kind of tattoo. I’m talking the Royal Nova Scotia International Tattoo.
Still no idea what I am talking about?
Over 2000 world-class Canadian and international military and civilian performers under one roof. The Tattoo is a combination of military drum and bugle corps, civilian bands, historic reenactments, dancers, acrobats and much more.
When we mentioned to people that we were going to an International Tattoo competition they all thought we were going to come home with actual tattoos. Like their was a competition of who can do the quickest tattoo or who has the most elaborate tattoo. Too funny. I can see why they thought that though. That is the more common, main stream definition of tattoo after all.
They had a choir that spanned the entire back area of the arena. From the above picture you can see some of the choir and back up band. This does not even represent a third of them!
They had everything from hoop people. At least that’s what I called them.
To these Swedish horn guys. I’m sure their is a better, more traditional name for them. All I could think of was the Ricola cough drop commercials.
These Dixieland Band guys were having a good ol’ time. Our friends from Louisiana quite enjoyed them.
He also enjoyed the motorcycle precision team. They were amazing if I do say so myself. Sorry to say, I do not have a picture of them. David had the camera and he was shooting their routine on video.
Here is a friendly competition among soldiers. They raced from one end of the arena to the other while doing different obstacles. The winner was presented with an award at the end of the night by some high ranking military officials who were there.
The United States came out and gave their performance. They did it in traditional drum and bugle corps style. The crowd went wild. Or maybe it was just David whistling in my ear and I thought I was hearing the whole stadium. I’m sure it was the whole stadium though. Their were quite a few Americans that we had run into there.
Oh….I found out why it’s called Tattoo. According to their brochure, in 17th century Dutch villages, drummers marched through the streets summoning British soldiers to return to their quarters from the taverns and inns. A drumbeat signalling innkeepers to “doe den tap toe” or “turn off the taps” was shortened to “tattoo”. The phrase now heralds the amazing entertainment highlighted by marching bands, hundreds of musicians, etc.
The finale was spectacular. All the performers came out onto the arena floor and all the bands were playing in unison. It was awe inspiring.
We are glad that we went and we were able to enjoy it with our friends that we are traveling with. This is a performance presented annually in downtown Halifax and if you make it to Nova Scotia, this should be something on your list to see.