Dayton Celtic Festival 2024: Weekend-long event features food, exhibits, live music and more

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

The United Irish of Dayton Celtic Festival returns to RiverScape MetroPark this summer as a part of the many family friendly and free live music events RiverScape has this month.

The Dayton Celtic Festival takes place July 26-28 rain or shine. Admission is free, but the festival accepts donations.

Since 2002, the United Irish of Dayton Celtic Festival, presented by the United Irish of Dayton in partnership with Five Rivers MetroParks, has been one of the region’s largest summer events, allowing visitors to experience what the Celtic heritage holds dear.

Festival goers can experience traditional Celtic food and beverages, authentic Celtic merchandise and cultural exhibits for all ages.

Festivities include 5K and 10K races, live music, dancing and more, along with 20 food vendors and 40 Celtic marketplace vendors.

The festival has three stages: the United Irish Main Stage, the WDTN Traditional Stage and the Emerald Isle Stage. American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters supplement some performances throughout the weekend.

The festival features six headliner bands, including Gaelic Storm (California), JigJam (Ireland), The Fitzgeralds (Canada), Socks in the Frying Pan (Ireland), Davy Holt (Scotland) and The Drowsy Lads (Columbus).

This year will also feature several regional and local music acts, including Dulahan, Father Son and Friends, Jameson’s Folly, Miami Valley Pipes and Drums, Kennedy’s Kitchen, Dogwood Road, The Pints, Skylark and The Roving Rogues.

Dulahan, a Dayton-based Celtic and Americana band, has performed at the Dayton Celtic Festival every year since its inception over two decades ago. Dulahan will release its 11th album, “Bumps in the Road,” at this year’s festival — a three-day album release weekend for the band.

“We always bring an added rollicking energy to our annual performances there in appreciation for the confidence [Dayton Celtic Festival] showed us in those early days,” said Kyle Aughe, multi-instrumentalist in Dulahan. “It’s also the perfect environment to showcase a new album with our loyal hometown fans.”

There will be dance performances throughout the weekend by several Irish Dance groups, including the Celtic Academy of Irish Dance, McGovern Irish Dance and Dwyer School of Irish Dance.

Cultural exhibits and presentations — by Five Points Cloggers, Irish storyteller Cathy Jo Smith and others — will get festivalgoers into the Celtic spirit.

Workshops about the Irish language, etiquette and introductions to traditional Irish and Scottish musical instruments — like bagpipes, bouzoukis and dulcimers — will also be offered.

A Gaelic Mass will be held at 10 a.m. on Sunday at the United Irish Main Stage, and presented in Gaelic and English, along with Irish dancing and pipers to supplement the Mass.

Entertainment performances and cultural exhibits take place under covered seating. Box 21 Rescue is also on-site in case an emergency arises.

Parking is available near the festival site. Festival goers are encouraged to visit the website for the latest parking information.

According to the press release, “the new Designated Outdoor Refreshment Area (DORA) near Riverscape Metropark and the Dragons Baseball Field will not include the Dayton Celtic Festival footprint for the weekend of the festival.” Additionally, beverage purchases will be cashless this year.

More happening at RiverScape

Earlier in July, Riverscape visitors can enjoy a diverse array of genres from local and regional acts during the RiverScape Summer Music Series concerts, sponsored by the Jack W. & Sally D. Eichelberger Foundation and Enterprise Roofing.

As a new addition this year, RiverScape Metropark will also host Tuesday Nights in the Park, which alternate between live music and games, like cornhole and music bingo, on Tuesday evenings, 7 to 9 p.m.

RiverScape will hold free fitness offerings featuring high-impact group workouts, mindfully-focused programs and dance fitness throughout July. Free fitness classes include Fitness in the Park’s yoga and Zumba classes, presented by Kettering Health and McGohan Brabender.

Check for the full schedule and additional event information.

How to go

What: The United Irish of Dayton Celtic Festival

When: 5:30-11 p.m. Friday, July 26; 11:30 a.m.-11 p.m. Saturday, July 27 and 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday, July 28

Where: RiverScape MetroPark, 237 E Monument Ave., Dayton

Cost: Free

About the Author