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February 07, 1995|Chris Woodyard, Times staff writer

Banking on Heritage: Area theme parks have long discovered the benefits of ethnic marketing and have hired mariachis to attract Latinos and gospel choirs to bring in African Americans, but the Queen Mary in Long Beach has taken the strategy a step further.

It is reaching into its United Kingdom heritage to host a Scottish Festival. The festival, Feb. 18 and 19, will feature representatives of more than 50 Scottish clans.

Joseph Prevratil, the Fullerton man who heads the Queen Mary, has said that the Queen Mary's once-shaky financial condition has been improving lately--and special events can be a great way to boost attendance during the traditionally slow winter season.

For the Scots, the Queen Mary will offer bagpipe ensembles and dancers. Vendors will also be selling Scottish and British merchandise and foods.

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