The McPherson Festival of Cultures is well on its way to establishing McPherson's first festival beer garden.
Dianna Carter, Festival co-chair, addressed the city commissioners this week at their regular meeting to submit the special event request.
The Festival of Cultures was formerly known as the Scottish Festival and has taken place in McPherson every fall in September for over 20 years. This year, however, will be the first time the festival will include a beer garden, although the details are still being worked out.
"We're kind of looking at some different possibilities,” explained Carter. “But one is that we can get some different breweries to come and set up so that they can give tastes of their craft beers. So, depending on how that all goes...
“This is all still, obviously, fresh and new,” continued Carter. “So we're still working on what we would do."
The festival will also be lowering its admission price to help attract more locals to the event that has traditionally drawn people from all over the country.
"We have lowered the price of the tickets from $15 to $8,” said Carter. “We did vote on that last week at our meeting. And that is obviously to allow more people to come to the festival who wouldn't come before because they thought it was a little pricey."
The city commissioners approved the festival's request for the special event and the beer garden on three conditions: the event will be limited to serving strong beer only and not harder alcohol; the festival board members must ensure that all of the requirements are met with the local police department; as well as with the local fire department. Any time alcoholic beverages are allowed on city property, extra security and safety need to be considered.
"I don't anticipate having any problems,” Carter said. “But I understand this first time we need to make sure that we cover all the bases."
The McPherson Festival of Cultures will take place in McPherson this year on September 24 and 25. The festival will maintain an overall Scottish flavor in keeping with its tradition as the former Scottish Festival. But this year will focus on other cultures as well that better represent the McPherson Community.
The festival will still include the Scottish Highland games along with music, dancers, various vendors along with a higher variety of food that will celebrate local and international flavors.