Enquirer Herald

Pipes and plaid return to Clover

Clover's annual Feis Chlobhair returns to Clover Memorial Stadium on Saturday, including the popular athletic games such as stone put.
Clover's annual Feis Chlobhair returns to Clover Memorial Stadium on Saturday, including the popular athletic games such as stone put.

CLOVER -- Lovers of all things plaid will want to check out Clover Memorial Stadium Saturday when the annual Scotch-Irish festival, Feis Chlobhair, returns for its 13th year.

The festival will provide a full day of fun and entertainment, from traditional pipe and drum bands, to Scottish Highland and Irish dancing to a combination of traditional Celtic and contemporary rock music from the band Uncle Hamish and the Hooligans.

"They're from the Asheville (N.C.) area and are pretty well known," Carla Pendleton said.

Pendleton is one of several Clover Chamber members who have devoted a lot of time this year to organizing the festival. In addition to the musical entertainment, annual favorites including clan and genealogy tents will be set to help those with Scotch-Irish heritage trace their family histories.

Another perennial favorite, border collie demonstrations will run throughout the day. Sporting events of the bipedal variety will include a rugby tournament kicking off at 9 a.m., and the Scottish Heavy Athletic Games, also getting underway at 9.

"People can still sign up for the heavy athletic events," Pendleton said. "These are usually guys who have been doing these events for years."

The contests of strength and skill feature iconic events like the caber toss, in which an athlete carries a a long wooden pole, upright against his shoulder, and hurls it up and out attempting to flip the pole over and have it land pointing away from the thrower. Other events include the stone put, where athletes hurl large stones like shot puts, and various other events involving throwing weights.

Feis Chlobhair grew out of Clover's twining with it's sister city Larne, Northern Ireland in the 1990s, Pendleton said.

"This is our heritage in this area, our Scotch-Irish ancestors came to Clover and York County," she said.

The festival is a major draw for Clover, bringing 3,000-4,000 spectators and participants each year.

"We're expecting that many again this year, but sometimes it depends on the weather," Pendleton added, hoping this event doesn't suffer the same fate as the town's St. Patrick's Day parade in March, which was rained out and rescheduled.

The festival will run from 9a.m. - 4 p.m. In the event that the younger crowd is bored at any point during the day, mom and dad can take them over to the children's tent, which will have a variety of activities geared towards the lads and lasses. And if all else fails they can jump around in the bounce castle that will be on the grounds as well, Pendleton said.

Several food and craft vendors will also have tents at the festival. Because the event is being held on Clover School District property, no alcohol or pets, other than the border collies taking part in the demonstrations, are allowed at the event.

Clover Memorial Stadium is located at 400 Clinton Ave. in Clover. Admission is free.