This is the third year for Celtic Fest Ohio at the Renaissance Park in Waynesville. As the fest grows in popularity, organizers add new events and features while retaining those that made it grow in the first place. Here are five reasons to attend Celtic Fest Ohio:
1. LIVE ENTERTAINMENT (JUNE 15-17)
Arguably the cornerstone of the fest, nearly 20 acts will take the stage over three days. Bands representing a mixture of Celtic rock, punk rock, bluegrass, and gospel will play a variety of traditional ballads, Celtic rock songs, and pub songs. Returning favorites include Dulahan, Jameson’s Folly and Fin Tan.
Two notable additions to the musical lineup this year are Albannach, a Scottish band that plays traditional tribal music using bass drums, bodhráns (Irish frame drums), and a single bagpipe, and The Elders, an internationally touring Irish-American folk rock band. The Elders recently announced that, after 20 years and eight studio albums, they will be retiring at the end of 2018.
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The lineup isn’t limited to music. Four troupes will give performances in Celtic dance, highland dance, and ceili (group folk) dance, and the 42nd Royal Highlanders, a pipe and drum corps of a Scottish infantry regiment that was active during the American Revolution, will give a demonstration as well.
2. SHAMROCK SHENANIGANS (JUNE 15)
This newest addition to the fest is an obstacle course consisting of beer pong, cornhole, limbo, and others, with three beer stations along the way. Prizes will be awarded to the top three finishers, and the overall winner will be crowned as the “Official Shamrock Shenanigator.” There will also be a kid-friendly version, with root beer and water. There is a separate entry fee of $15.
3. VIKING ENCAMPMENT (JUNE 16-17)
This piece of living history includes a 40-foot replica of a Viking ship, so people can live a day in the life of Vikings during the “Beowulf” area, such as what it was like to sail to faraway lands.
4. BORDER COLLIE DEMONSTRATIONS
Alan Miller of Kentucky will bring his border collies, a breed of herding dog originally developed on the English-Scottish border, to demonstrate how to herd duck and sheep, a family tradition that is educational and entertaining, and shows how such practices are still in use today.
5. FOOD AND DRINK
There will be Irish-themed food as well as American comfort food at the fest. The vendors are: Pleasant Peasant (haggis, bangers & mash, shepherd’s pie), 1572 Roadhouse Bar-B-Q (smoked Irish and Scottish meats, moonshine), Aleing Knight Pub (hot dogs, Scotch eggs, Celtic baked pots), Davinci’s (American or Celtic pizza), King’s Kustom Kreatons (donuts), Holly B’s Sweets (gourmet chocolates), Martin’s Fine Foods (ice cream), and KJs Cajun Cuisine (beignets, or French pastries).
The drink booths will be serving Guinness, Harp, Smithwicks, Magners Irish Cider, Valley Vineyards wines, American domestic beers, water and Coca-Cola products.
There will also be Guinness and cider tastings inside the Guinness tent, along with a Guinness Ambassador for instruction and a pint glass to take home.