Our list of things to do this weekend is rapidly growing. From Seagull Century to Bark For Life, there are events all over the shore to delve into. Also on the agenda for the weekend is the annual Chesapeake Celtic Festival at the Furnace Town Living Heritage Museum in Snow Hill. A weekend dedicated to celebrating Celtic heritage, the two-day event offers something for everyone, including music, dancing, storytelling, genealogy, scotch whiskey tasting, craft demonstrations, animals, re-enactment groups and much, much more.
The event kicks off Friday, October 4th, with the Festival Kickoff Party at Oscar’s Americana Sports Grille in Princess Anne. The Festival officially commences Saturday morning at 11, with activities getting into full swing at noon with the Parade of the Flags of the Seven Celtic Nations. The Opening Ceremonies will also feature the Flowers of the Forest bagpipe concert in memoriam of those we have lost.
Throughout the afternoon, you can find Captain Teliaferro and the Footsteps Irish Dancers performing around the grounds, as well as on stage. The dancers will perform their toe-tapping rhythms and spirited, heart-stopping dances all afternoon on Saturday. Other stage performances include Moch Pryderi, Iona, and Ceilidh with Moch Pryderi and Iona. Iona is an internationally acclaimed recording group, performing the songs of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, Isle of Man, Brittany and Asturias/Galicia. Moch Pryderi plays a collection of traditional music, using great pipes, bombardes, a Welsh pigborn, Celtic bouzouki, mandolin, clawhammer najo, flutes, whistles, bodhrans and more.
For dog lovers, the event features a number of dog-friendly activities, including the Costumed Dog Parade, to be held both Saturday and Sunday at 1:30. The Peninsula Border Collies will also be on site to demonstrate sheep herding. For animal lovers, check out Bucky the miniature horse or the Barren Creek Alpacas.
Special presentations include storytelling by Jetta Reynolds on Saturday and Salomea Swain on Sunday in the Chapel. Whiskey tastings will also be held. Enjoy a wee dram of uisge beatha at the whiskey tasting in The Cork and Bottle. Wine tastings are available. Matt Cimino will present wines from Great Shoals Winery, including wines made from apples in the Celtic tradition. Beer and exotics brews are available all day in the pub tent.
Expect to find a variety of re-enactments throughout the festival. The Wild Geese will be portraying the daily lifestyles from the years between 1200 and 1601; the Medieval European Martial Arts Guild will demonstrate the combative arts developed during the Middles Ages and the Renaissance, and the Swords of Chivalry and the Society for Creative Anachronism will perform a wide variety of re-enactments.
The athletes of the Mid-Atlantic Scottish Athletics will perform amazing feats of the Highland Heptathon for audiences, including the legendary Caber (Gaelic for ‘tree’) Toss. The trunk of the tree used is generally 18 to 21 feet in length and anywhere from 90 to 150 pounds. There’s also a chance for junior athletes to give the Caber Toss a shot, by hurling a mini caber.
Of course it wouldn’t be a festival without food. Head to the food court and test put your taste buds to the test with a little haggis. There is also shepherd’s pie, pasties, bridies, fish and chips, highland beef and local Chesapeake seafood and funnel cakes for the choosing.
After filling up on beer, wine, whiskey and food, take a stroll through the Celtic Marketplace for browsing and shopping. Unique goods like hand-loomed woolens, stained glass, wood carvings, and hand-crafted jewelry are just a few of the goodies you’ll find.
For more information, call 410-632-2032 or visit the Chesapeake Celtic Festival’s website.