After a one year hiatus, the Taste of Scotland Festival will return in 2013 and will be bigger and better than ever before.
Due to financial difficulties and the lack of volunteers to coordinate the festival, after 15 years in Franklin, the Taste of Scotland Festival was put on hold this year. According to a presentation given to town aldermen Monday night by event chairman Doug Morton, the 2013 festival, which will continue to be held on Father's Day weekend, will not just be a one day event, but instead will span throughout the weekend and feature new attractions to help the event become more sustainable.
“We feel that the Taste of Scotland Festival has to return to Franklin,” said Morton. “For 15 years the festival has been held and has become a part of the community's tradition. People all across the country looked to attend the festival and it was a tragedy it had to be cancelled this year.”
According to Morton, one way to ensure the festival will be successful in 2013 is instead of taking donations for the event, the event committee is selling sponsorships for as low as $50. Sponsorships allows the community to have an added buy-in and encourages more people to participate.
“Eighty percent of people living in Macon County have a Scottish background,” said Morton. “Plus, Franklin has an added attraction as being home to the only Scottish Tartan museum in the entire world. This festival has always been a positive tourism experience for our visitors and the merchants and the Town Franklin.”
By expanding the event to a three-day event, more Scottishthemed activities can be planned, which will broaden the audience reach. According to Morton, the event will kick off on Thursday with a golf tournament at Mill Creek. The festival will feature new events such as a traditional Scottish whiskey tasting, music downtown on Friday night which will be matched with dancing and a surprise theatrical performance. A special event will be held at the Rathskellar Friday night, and then on Saturday, athletic Scottish games will be added. “This year the games will be demonstration only and we are working with professionals to hold a demonstration for jousting,” said Morton. “But in 2014, we want to make the Scottish games something the public can participate in.”
The aldermen expressed their appreciation to Morton for his diligence in ensuring the festival continues next year.
“It was a sad day that after 15 years, the festival could not continue this year,” said Mayor Joe Collins. “I am thrilled to see the work and dedication you have already shown in making sure that the tradition continues in Franklin.”