Scots-Irish Festival reflects Upstate heritage

Clover will celebrate Scottish -Irish heritage this Saturday as it hosts the 13th annual Clover Scottish Games and Scottish-Irish Festival. The event will begin at 9:00 a.m. and conclude at 4:00 p.m.  The festival will be held at Memorial Stadium and will showcase Irish and Scottish dancing, a bag pipe band, and Celtic music by Uncle Hamish and the Hooligans. The Scottish Games will match seasoned amateurs in several of the traditional Gaelic competitions including the Sheaf Toss and the Caber. Event Committee member Carla Pendelton explains some the events.
“The athletic events include throwing the stone and the 28-pound and 56-pound weight throws,” said Pendleton. “That’s a metal weight with a handle and a chain attached and they throw it for distance.
“The 56-pound weight toss is a weight with a handle they throw over a horizontal bar and they raise the bar higher and higher. The hammer is a metal hammer weighing 16 to 22 pounds and they throw it for distance.”
There are other events as well. The Sheaf Toss is a burlap bag stuffed with hay and the contestants toss it with a pitch fork over a bar. The bar is raised until only one person is able to clear it with their bag. The Caber Toss is a piece of wood resembling a telephone pole that the contestant holds horizontally and then must flip it end over end. The Caber must complete one flip and come to rest directly in front of the contestant.
Bag pipe band entertaining at a Scots-Irish FestivalThe event will also feature live entertainment. Pendleton says entertainers are professionals but the athletes are not. “For the entertainment–we hire the entertainment–but for the athletic event, those are people that do this for a hobby,” she said.
“We’ve got Scottish Highland Dancing. We’ve got a celtic rock band called the Hooligans and a bag pipe band.”
There will be rugby matches, genealogy and clan tents, Celtic merchandise vendors, food vendors, and children’s activities as well. This is a family event. No alcohol or pets will be admitted.

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