CLOVER — Organizers of Clover’s annual Feis Chlobhair, or Scotch-Irish festival, say they are planning a scaled-back version of the event this year.
Ed Stewart, a member of the committee organizing the June 14 celebration of Clover’s heritage, said the event will include the traditional heavy Scottish athletics competition and a rugby tournament.
But Stewart and other organizers said most of the other entertainment that has been part of the event for the past 18 years, including music, genealogy tents, vendors and sheepdog herding demonstration, will not be offered this year.
Stewart and another planning committee member, Carla Pendleton, said the event has been moved from Clover’s Memorial Stadium to the town’s New Centre Park.
Stewart and Pendleton both said some scheduling and logistical issues caused the scope of the event to be scaled back this year.
However, both said they are planning to bring the event back with all the traditional entertainment, vendors and other features in June 2015.
Stewart said scheduling issues at Memorial Stadium prompted the committee to move the event to the town’s new park, which opened last fall.
However, some work at the park is still being completed.
“It’s a beautiful location, but we’re not sure how it’s going to work with issues like power,” Stewart said of the park. “Some of the vendors need power outlets, and some of those are not available yet with the park.”
Stewart said there will be a Scottish pipe band at the event this year, but the sheep herding dogs, dancers and other music will not be offered.
“It’s just not going to be what it has been, but we’ll have a good time,” he said.
Pendleton said the rugby tournament will be organized by the Gastonia Rugby Football Club. She said the festival included a rugby tournament several years ago, but has not had that event every year.
Allison Harvey, Clover’s town manager, said the town will continue to support the festival by using hospitality tax money to promote it.
“We are going to see this as a rebuilding year, and then hopefully be able to start adding more to the event,” Harvey said. “We want to keep the games, we want to keep a rugby tournament, and we want to add back the festival-type events to draw in tourism.”
Stewart said festival attendance has been good in the past. “We really appreciate the support we’ve had from the community in the past and we look forward to having everybody this year,” he said.
Jennifer Becknell • 803-329-4077