Columbus Scottish Festival organizers thrilled with weekend turnout

COLUMBUS, Ind. — The Highlands returned and left visitors and organizers on a high over the weekend for the annual Columbus Scottish Festival.

An estimated 3,000-plus people attended the Saturday and Sunday event at the Bartholomew County 4-H Fairgrounds a year after it was canceled because of a lack of sufficient sponsor support. It also was canceled in 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“After being away for two years, we weren’t quite sure what would happen, and if people would return,” said Mike Bostelman, festival president.

The festival, though popular for a long time here since its beginnings in 1992, had suffered through horrible and extremely rainy weather that hampered attendance in recent years and adversely impacted organizers’ already stretched budget.

“We had people already waiting for us to open the gates (Saturday morning),” Bostelman said.

The 2,000 people attending Saturday mostly people from all over Indiana made up for what ended up being a shortage of sponsors and a shortage of volunteers. In fact, Saturday’s attendance probably matched 2019 record Saturday attendance, according to organizers.

For more on this story, and more photos, see Tuesday’s Republic.