Saturday, February 8, 2014

Celtic Festivals are Magical!

Opening street parade from the Australian Celtic Festival

Have you had the fantastic opportunity to attend a Celtic festival? Whether you are a fan of the culture of Ireland, Scotland, Wales or Brittany, you can get immersed in the music, food, and fun of these countries. Celtic festivals occur around the globe. Guest blogger Sally Smith describes the magic of the Australian Celtic Festival:  

"Every year, on the first weekend of May, Glen Innes hosts the Australian Celtic Festival--A celebration of song, dance, music and Celtic heritage. This is its 22nd year, and thousands of visitors will again descend on the Glen Innes district for rousing non-stop entertainment. Glen Innes is on the Norther Tablelands in the New England region of New South Wales, Australia.

While events of the four-day festival occur throughout the town, the festival show grounds are situated between the two main event locations of the festival, the Australian Standing Stones and Grey Street in Glen Innes. The Standing Stones is the official national gathering site for Celtic descendants of the clans. Forty granite monoliths, each standing 3.7m tall, rise proudly on a hilltop in the Centennial Parklands. 

Four outdoor stages host a mix of entertainment: two venues feature Celtic music performed by musicians from around the world, the third focuses on pipe bands, while the fourth is all about Celtic dance (including River Dance).

Popular events include a jousting contest, where knights wearing historically accurate armor charge at each other atop their mounted steeds for blow-to-blow action. Attendees also enjoy perusing the medieval village, where they can view more feudal activities. 

Another popular event is the Highland Strong Man (and Woman), a race where athletes carry two 50kg sections of railway track in each hand, followed by lifting and carrying a 100kg section, and then a caber toss (female competitors have it easier and enter just the first section of the contest with lighter weights). 

Accommodations for the Festival is at a premium in Glen Innes, so make your reservations now. Choices include hotel, motel, apartment, bed and breakfast, camping, and svn staying in the homes of local residents, where you can experience the warmth of "Celtic Country" hospitality.

The 2014 Festival program will be available this month. It includes a complete listing of all performers' times and venues. The official Examiner Festival Guide will be available in April. Other things to do while in Glen Innes include visiting the Land of the Beardies History Museum, the Gibraltar Range National Park, the World Heritage listed Washpool National Park, and several beautiful waterfalls." 

--Special thanks to our guest blogger, Sally Smith with Skedattle Car Hire, which can assist you with a car rental when visiting Glen Innes. Sally wishes you a great time when you visit the 2014 Australian Celtic Festival.

Are you interested in visiting a Celtic festival near you? Make your travel reservations now, because accommodations for these yearly festivals fill up quickly. Here are some links you'll want to visit:

List of Celtic Festivals around the World
List of Irish Festivals in the U.S.
List of Festivals in Ireland
List of Scottish Games in the U.S.
Events and Festivals in Scotland
Festivals in Wales

Would you like to share your love of Celtic culture, Celtic music, and Celtic harps? I'm always happy to feature guest bloggers. Contact me through the email address on my website at to submit your article.