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McLain Festival

From left, Diana Buck of Hampstead, Maryland, Faith Kearse of Staunton, Virginia, and Leigh Ann Dougherty of Newville demonstrate how to spin wool at the 24th Annual McLain Celtic Festival in 2018.

2019 will be the final year of the McLain Celtic Festival.

The board and staff of the Cumberland County Historical Society decided Tuesday to cancel future festivals after the 25th annual event this Saturday and Sunday.

Instead, the Historical Society will use 2020 to explore other opportunities to promote county history and to reexamine fundraising events and programming.

The decision to end the festival after 25 years is due to increasing costs, loss of Celtic-themed vendors and lower visitor turnout, said Lindsay Varner, community outreach director.

“It’s a hard decision to end this beloved festival,” executive director Jason Illari said. “However, CCHS sees this as an opportunity to develop additional programming that is representative of the diverse histories and interests in Cumberland County.”

Mary Wheeler King gifted the Two Mile House to the Historical Society in 1992. Two years later, the McLain Celtic Festival was started to honor the legacy of the King family.

Despite ending the festival, the society in 2020 will continue it’s popular McLain Blarney Bash whiskey tasting the Thursday before Labor Day.

The last McLain Celtic Festival will be this weekend at the Two Mile House on Walnut Bottom Road. Tickets can be purchased at historicalsociety.com or on the day of the event.

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