McPherson Scots Talk The Clans and Associates of the McPherson Scottish Festival & Games

October 7, 2007


Filed under: — Clan Chairman @ 11:03 pm

The McPherson Scottish Festival and Games started around 1994, as a way to promote the city of McPherson. I am writing about this to give honor to those who have given freely of their time and money and in memory of my father Webb Clark. If these things are not recorded then they are lost and the purpose of the festival is to remind ourselves of our heritage and to keep the traditions and memories of our forefathers alive. I do not know all of the details and I may incorrectly report on some of the events that have taken place. It is in this light that I ask that any of you who have been a part of this festival over the year to correct me if you find something that you believe to be wrong and help me fill in my omissions. I will be appending this page as time progresses to try to make it more correct and complete. I have learned from the volunteers and the participants at the festival, I have made new friends and meet many interesting and friendly individuals. The Clans and John Ferrell have been invaluable to my understanding of how something as large as our festival started.

The McPherson Chamber of Commerce and the McPherson Scottish Society were both instrumental in the formation of the festival. The board members of both organizations were active in the involving the groups of individuals the now form the festival committee. Although the city was named after Civil General McPherson and not directly as a early Scottish settlement as other communities in the area are. Lindsborg being Swedish and Galva, Gossel, and Moundridge being German as well as many others. There is however a strong Scottish community in McPherson having our own pipe band competing across the nation.The first two years were more of a Scottish fair or sampler that allowed people to sample Scottish food and traditions. During this time the McPherson Scottish Society was formed and John Ferrell and Webb Clark joined wanting to find out more about their heritage.

As time passed John looking to retire soon and wanting to get more involved in the community volunteered to act as the festival chairman and Webb volunteered to be take charge of the Clans. At first the Scottish fair was a one day event. When Webb and John were discussing the what things the festival should do over coffee and many donuts, made at the Daylight Donut shop that the Clark family owned and ran, Webb in discussion with the Clans found our that they believed that a one day festival was too short to travel the distances that were required. With that they set out to create a two day festival with the help of the Clans, and dogged determination. Also at the same time there happened to be an individual that left a benevolent donation to the Scottish Society which was the seed money for the festival. Andy Aitken was contacted for the entertainment and his family are McPherson natives. Ty Kaufman was in charge of the bands and Al Myers was in charge of the Athletics. Kathy Kajinami was very effective in locating these individuals and was well connected in the Convention Visitors Bureau.

As the festival grown from its infancy the Clans have been essential in the growth of the festival spreading the word to other games and contributing to its success, with ideas, involvement and financial support. Many of the same clans that started with the festival are still with us today.

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