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Dayton Celtic Fest adds a lot more Irish flavor

Reasons to go to this weekend’s festival at Riverscape.

Irish music is always the big draw at the Dayton Celtic Festival. However, the event — presented by United Irish of Dayton at RiverScape MetroPark in Dayton, Friday through Sunday, July 27 through 29 — continues to expand its other offerings.

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The free festival features workshops, vendors, food, beer, children’s activities and Sunday Mass. Returning favorites include the Bushmills Irish Whiskey tastings at 5 and 7 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday, the Celtic breakfast from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sunday and Sunday Mass at 10 a.m. Special guests include authors Cindy Thomson and Terence O’Leary and storyteller Cathy Jo Smith.

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“The Celtic breakfast and Gaelic Mass are big staples every year,” said Shawn Kain, who has handled the festival’s marketing and publicity since 2004. “We’re fortunate to have the Mass, which is set in Gaelic and English. Whenever they say anything in Gaelic, they come back and say what it means in English because Gaelic is a pretty complex language.

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Heron Valley and Rory Makem (pictured) are making their first appearances at Dayton Celtic Festival at RiverScape MetroPark in Dayton, Friday through Sunday, July 27 through 29. CONTRIBUTED (Contributing Writer)

“The Celtic breakfast is always good on Sunday morning,” he continued. “We try to give people traditional festival food, but we also have a lot of authentic Celtic food and beverages to give it that Irish flavor.”

Workshops include Baking with Bill Evans of Evans Bakery, an Introduction to the Gaelic Language and Introduction to Irish Music.

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“We’ve done a lot to expand the cultural side of the festival,” Kain said. “That has been the biggest change this year. We have dancing, history, genealogy, the Irish wolfhounds and all the different workshops. The merchandise is big, too, because you get an opportunity to find stuff in person that you can normally only get online.

Headliners such as Gaelic Storm (pictured) and Scythian return to Dayton Celtic Festival at RiverScape MetroPark in Dayton, Friday through Sunday, July 27 through 29, where the festival regulars will share the stage with first-time acts, Heron Valley and Rory Makem. CONTRIBUTED (Contributing Writer)

“Musicians from some of the participating bands will be helping with the Introduction to Irish Music workshop,” Kain continued. “It’s nice because the bands are not just there singing, they help out with the festival, too. They take part in it, try to promote it and get people to support the vendors. It’s a team effort, which is really neat. They’re real down to earth and they like to mingle with the crowd. We really appreciate them. We’re lucky to have them.”

Heron Valley (pictured) and Rory Makem are making their first appearances at Dayton Celtic Festival at RiverScape MetroPark in Dayton, Friday through Sunday, July 27 through 29. Also taking the stage are festival regulars like Gaelic Storm and Scythian. CONTRIBUTED (Contributing Writer)

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This year’s lineup includes the festival debut of Scottish group Heron Valley and Irish artist Rory Makem, along with returning headliners Gaelic Storm, Scythian, Socks in the Frying Pan, the Fitzgeralds and We Banjo 3. The festival also features local talent such as Dulahan, Father Son and Friends, the Drowsy Lads and Jameson’s Folly.

Socks in the Frying Pan, from County Clare on the West Coast of Ireland, is among the headliners performing at the Dayton Celtic Festival at RiverScape MetroPark in Dayton Friday through Sunday, July 28 through 30. CONTRIBUTED (Contributing Writer)
We Banjo 3 from Galway, Ireland is among the headliners performing at the Dayton Celtic Festival at RiverScape MetroPark in Dayton Friday through Sunday, July 28 through 30. CONTRIBUTED (Contributing Writer)
Dayton Celtic Fest faves Scythian, (left to right) Larissa Fedoryka, Danylo Fedoryka, Alexander Fedoryka, Nolan Ladewski and Fritz McGirr, returns to town for concerts at Annunciation Greek Orthodox Church in Dayton on Friday and Saturday, Feb. 23 and 24. CONTRIBUTED (Contributing Writer)

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