Monday, April 2, 2012

Celtic Festivals and Highland Games

Reenactment Couple
2011 So MD Celtic Festival
By Dawn Marie Hamilton

Spring has sprung. Festival time is spreading across the country. Come on out and celebrate our ancestry?

Here are the festivals on my radar for April through July:

April 20-22
Rural Hill Scottish Festival & Loch Norman Highland Games
Rural Hill, Center of Scottish Heritage, Huntersville, NC
Friends of mine attend this event every year. Looks like a great lineup of entertainers for 2012. Things to do: Clan Tents, Music and Dance, Highland Athletics, Whisky Seminar, Historical Encampment and more.

April 28
Southern Maryland Celtic Festival and Highland Gathering
Jefferson Patterson Park, St. Leonard, MD
I had a great time at this event last year. Things to do: Music and Dance, Highland Athletics, Fencing Demo, Living History Encampment and Battle, Storytelling, Rugby Tournament and Celtic Market Place and more.

The Sheaf Toss
2012 NE FL Scottish Festival
May 23-27
GALLABRAE and the Greenville Scottish Games
Greenville, SC
I'm very excited and proud. My clan, Clan Hamilton, will be the Honored Clan and His Grace, the Duke of Hamilton, will be the Chief of the Games and Grand Marshal for the Great Scot! Parade. And two of my favorite festival bands are scheduled to perform: Albannach and Coyote Run along with a new to me band Cleghorn. Things to do: Music and Dance, British Car Show, Great Scot! Parade, Highland Athletics, Celtic Jam, Border Collies, Birds of Prey and more.

June 2
Milwaukee Highland Games
Wauwatosa, WI
Added to the list thanks to Fraoch. Things to do: Music and Dance, Scottish Food, Sheepdogs, Athletic Events, Parade of Tartans and more.

July 7-10
Grandfather Mountain Highland Games and Gathering of the Scottish Clans
Linville, NC
This is my favorite event and the inspiration for some of my stories. To fully experience the festival, you need to camp on-site. Things to do: Torchlight Ceremony, Music and Dance, Clan Tents, Parade of Tartans, Highland Athletics, Border Collies, Gaelic Mod and more.

Pipe Band
2011 So MD Celtic Festival

I'd like to know about other Celtic festivals taking place in the US and Canada.

Do you know of other Celtic events? Tell us about them in comments and I'll add them to the list.


Victoria Roberts said...

Hi Dawn. Here's more on the East Coast.

Foxburg Scottish Festival - 18th August 2012
This event will take place at RiverStone Farm in Foxburg PA with a ceilidh on Friday 17th August - and then the Highland games on Saturday.

Edinboro Highland Games - 8th September 2012
This event will take place on the Edinboro University campus. There will be pipe bands, Highland dancing, clans and vendors.

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Thanks, Victoria. I'll add these to the list for Aug - Sep. I love Celtic festivals.

Fraoch said...

The Milwaukee Highland games are the weekend of June 2 and held in at Wauwatosa park. But the big Wisconsin Scottish games are Labor Day weekend in September.

We also have North America's largest Irish festival- Irish FEST held the third weekend in August, which includes also Scottish music as well as Welsh along with cultural events.

Renee Vincent said...

Those look like so much fun!!! Here in KY we don't have any Highland Games (that I know of) but in Dublin, Ohio they have the annual Irish Festival in August. I'm looking to go this year. And my kids wanna come too!

Great post, Dawn! Thanks for sharing!

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Fraoch and Renee, Thanks for dropping in and adding to my list. I've added the Milwaukee Highland games to today's post and will post events for August through November in June.

Paisley Kirkpatrick said...

I'd love to visit one of these festivals. My parents used to attend one every year in the town they lived, but unfortunately they don't do it anymore. Drat the luck! I know my Mom would talk about it for a long time after attending. Just think of all those men in kilts. Boggles my mind. ;)

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

I hope you someday have an opportunity to attend one of the events, Paisley. Gotta love men in kilts!

Althea Preston said...

Kalamazoo, MI Scottish Festival
March 24, 2012

Alma, MI Highland Festival
May 26-27, 2012

Canterbury Olde World Village Highland Festival
Lake Orion, MI
June 30th & July 1st, 2012

Saline, MI Celtic Festival
July 12-14, 2012

The St. Andrews Society Highland Games, Livonia, MI
August 3-4, 2012

Those are the big ones in Michigan, but if you go here:

That’s a listing of every Games/Festival date reported so far across the US for 2012


Anonymous said...


Here are a few more:

BC Highland Games & Scottish Festival

Victoria Highland Games
19-20 May 2012 (Queen Victoria's Birthday Celebration)

Calgary Highland Games

Seattle Highland Games Enumclaw, WA

Fèis Seattle
Want to learn Gaelic? All levels taught by
Scottish teachers who are native speakers.
Want to learn to sing Gaelic songs? Learn something about truly Celtic music?

Diana Graber said...

Here are a couple in Indiana:

Columbus Scottish Festival
Sept 8th & 9th

Indianapolis Scottish Festival
Oct 13th

Used to be one in Fort Wayne but couldn't find anything definite on it.

Kentucky also has some:

Murray Kentucky
Murray Highland Festival
Oct 27th

Glasgow Kentucky
Glasgow Highland Games
June 1st - 3rd

Carrollton Kentucky
30th Annual Kentucky Scottish Weekend
General Butler State Park
May 12th

Dawn Marie Hamilton said...

Wow! Thanks Althea, Anonymous, and Diana. I'll add these to the lists. And thanks for stopping by.

Fiona Druce said...

Hey, just wanted to add that on 13 October 2012, the West Coast Eisteddfod will be held in Portland, Oregon at the Multnomah Arts Center. It's a Welsh festival. :)

There will be traditional Welsh storytelling, poetry, music, food, and more. :)

If you can't make it, they'll be recording it live by satellite, so you can check in and watch, too. :)