CLOVER — Elementary school teacher Jeff Crouch enjoys long, hard days of lifting and tossing weights. He likes it so much, in fact, that he often travels miles for the chance to compete with others.
“It really is fun,” said Crouch, a Granite Falls, N.C., third-grade teacher who competes each year in the Scottish heavy athletics competitions at Clover’s annual Scotch-Irish festival, Feis Chlobhair.
“I’ve always been athletic, and after you get out of high school and college, you still want to do something,” said Crouch, 40. “It’s a great venue for people like me to get into.”
The 17th annual Clover Scottish games and Scotch-Irish festival, a celebration of Clover’s Scotch-Irish heritage, will be 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Clover Memorial Stadium. The event is sponsored by the Greater Clover Chamber of Commerce and the town of Clover.
In addition to the heavy athletics, the festival includes a popular border collie exhibition, pipe bands and entertainment by Stirling Bride, a four-member band from North Carolina. The group blends classic bagpipe sounds with hard-driving Carolina rock ‘n’ roll.
Two divisions of Scottish athletes will compete in different events, including the clachneart or stone throw; the 56-pound weight throw; the hammer; the sheaf toss; and the caber. Athletes will compete for the title of Athlete of the Day.
Ed Stewart, a Clover-area resident who has helped organize the event since its inception, said
the border collie demonstration, a returning event, has been a crowd favorite. “Everybody loves to watch the dogs herd the sheep,” he said.
Pipe bands will perform during the day. Other activities include genealogy and clan tents, Celtic merchandise vendors, food vendors and children’s activities.