LAURINBURG — From Labor Day until Christmas, Scotland County has something going on almost every weekend — ranging from festivals to sporting events — but it’s October that’s dubbed as “festival month” with thousands expected to bring in tourism dollars to the county.
While Kuumba typically starts off the festival season on Sept. 22, Hurricane Florence had other odea and the event was canceled by organizers. This weekend. the Scotland County Highland Games will be kicking off the month packed full of events on Saturday.
Cory Hughes, executive director of the Tourism Development Authority, said more than 15,000 people are expected to attend the events, in total, bringing money into the county.
“We’ve been advertising a lot, some in the county and some out of the county,” Hughes said. “We want people to come in for the events, but we also want people in the county to come out and bring people they know.”
Each weekend gives both residents and those from out of town something new to enjoy. The Highland Games offers whiskey tasting, traditional Scottish foods, bagpiping, Scottish athletics and more.
“We’re really excited about having the Games — the grounds did have some damage like the rest of Scotland County, but volunteers have helped clean it up and it’s ready for the weekend,” Hughes said. “We’re still getting a lot of calls about the Games to see if they’re still on and we’re selling tickets on an hourly basis so we’re hoping that everyone comes out this weekend.”
The following weekend, at the same location as the Games, the grounds of the John Blue House, the John Blue Cotton Festival will be a completely different atmosphere than the Highland Games.
The Festival will offer a step back in time with a craft fair and historic displays of farm life with the atmosphere of a county fair. With entertainment and children’s games — as well as the Old Timey Fair, where plants, quilts, paintings and more are entered in hopes of winning a blue ribbon — there is something for everyone to enjoy.
Moving away from the grounds of the John Blue House to downtown on Oct. 19-20, the Storytelling Festival of the Carolinas will offer the entertainment of storytellers such as local favorite Tyris Jones as well as live music and plenty of vendors for festival-goers to enjoy.
The “Insainitarum” will be sharing downtown with the Storytelling Festival Oct. 19-20 but will have its own weekend on Oct. 26-27. Located at 116 Roper St. the haunted house being put on by Scotland County Parks and Recreation and the Laurinburg-Scotland County Chamber of Commerce will feature two stories of scares filled with zombies, clowns and other paranormal creatures you wouldn’t want to come face-to-face with.
The festivals all vary and offer different events so that there is something for everyone. Hughes says he hopes that organizers will start working together to market the other events so that the events overlap in attendance. Two events currently working together are the Storytelling Arts Festival and “Insanitatirum,” since they’re both taking place downtown and sharing a weekend.
But one of the most important things is just being able to have all the events to offer those who live in Scotland County is the chance to get out and do something.
“It’s extremely beneficial we’ve had something going on every weekend I’d say from Labor Day to Christmas we have something,” Hughes said. “It can be festivals, sporting events, there is almost always something going on and it’s good because we want to show people that there are things to do in Scotland County.”
Reach Katelin Gandee at 910-506-3171 or at [email protected]