Dayton Celtic Festival returns full scale to celebrate all things Irish

The Dayton Celtic Festival will be held July 29-31 at RiverScape MetroPark. The free festival featured workshops, vendors, food, beer, children’s activities and Irish music. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

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The Dayton Celtic Festival will be held July 29-31 at RiverScape MetroPark. The free festival featured workshops, vendors, food, beer, children’s activities and Irish music. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Cultural staple slated July 29-31 at RiverScape MetroPark.

The clock on the Dayton Celtic Festival’s website has been counting down the days, hours, minutes and seconds until the festival begins at RiverScape MetroPark in downtown Dayton on Friday at 5:30 p.m.

Slated July 29-31, the festival has been a Dayton staple since 2002, but the last full-fledged festival happened in 2019. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the festival was canceled in 2020. Last year, a scaled-down event called the Dayton Celtic Knot Festival was held.

United Irish of Dayton, the organization presenting the festival, expects 2022 to be a year to remember. Festival organizers have been planning the festivities throughout the pandemic.

“We are getting back into the groove,” said Shawn Kain, marketing and publicity co-chair of the United Irish of Dayton Celtic Festival. “We’re all eager to get back to some sense of normalcy. We are all volunteers, so we take pride in putting it on.”

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The Dayton Celtic Festival will be held July 29-31 at RiverScape MetroPark. The free festival will feature workshops, vendors, food, beer, children’s activities and Irish music. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Credit: Tom Gilliam

The Dayton Celtic Festival will be held July 29-31 at RiverScape MetroPark. The free festival will feature workshops, vendors, food, beer, children’s activities and Irish music. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Combined ShapeCaption
The Dayton Celtic Festival will be held July 29-31 at RiverScape MetroPark. The free festival will feature workshops, vendors, food, beer, children’s activities and Irish music. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

One major change this year is the introduction of a cashless system for the purchase of beverages. Gone are the days of purchasing drink tickets. Beverage purchases will now require a credit/debit card or Apple/Google Pay app. Cash can also be transferred to a no-fee, universal debit card on site. ATM’s will be available as well. Overall, Kain said going cashless will be safer and easier.

“We are hoping it will reduce line time,” he said. “Less cash exchange is safer. Over the last two years, we thought about what we could do better, and this was one thing we definitely could do.”

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The Dayton Celtic Festival will be held July 29-31 at Riverscape MetroPark. The free festival will feature workshops, vendors, food, beer, children’s activities and Irish music. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Credit: Tom Gilliam

The Dayton Celtic Festival will be held July 29-31 at Riverscape MetroPark. The free festival will feature workshops, vendors, food, beer, children’s activities and Irish music. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Combined ShapeCaption
The Dayton Celtic Festival will be held July 29-31 at Riverscape MetroPark. The free festival will feature workshops, vendors, food, beer, children’s activities and Irish music. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Musically, there will be many returning bands as well as a few newcomers. The headlining bands are Gaelic Storm, Scythian, Socks in the Frying Pan, The Drowsy Lads, The Fitzgeralds, Boxing Banjo, and Joanna Hyde & Tadhg Ó Meachair.

Gaelic Storm is a Dayton Celtic Festival favorite and has performed for two decades. Boxing Banjo and Joanna Hyde & Tadhg Ó Meachair are new additions to the entertainment lineup. Both hail from the Emerald Isle. Kain said the headlining bands are one of the biggest draws, but favorite local acts will be presented as well.

The festival will feature regional and local musical groups, including Dulahan, Father, Son and Friends, Fin Tan, Jameson’s Folly, Miami Valley Pipes and Drums, Sons O’Blarney, The Rice Brothers, and The Roving Rogues. In addition, attendees will enjoy dance performances from several Irish dance groups including Celtic Academy of Irish Dance, McGovern Irish Dance and Dwyer School of Irish Dance.

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Gaelic Storm (pictured), Scythian and Socks in the Frying Pan are among the musical acts performing at the United Irish of Dayton Celtic Festival at RiverScape MetroPark in Dayton, Friday through Sunday, July 29 through 31.

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Gaelic Storm (pictured), Scythian and Socks in the Frying Pan are among the musical acts performing at the United Irish of Dayton Celtic Festival at RiverScape MetroPark in Dayton, Friday through Sunday, July 29 through 31.

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Combined ShapeCaption
Gaelic Storm (pictured), Scythian and Socks in the Frying Pan are among the musical acts performing at the United Irish of Dayton Celtic Festival at RiverScape MetroPark in Dayton, Friday through Sunday, July 29 through 31.

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Credit: CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

In addition, cultural events will take place all weekend. There will be opportunities to learn more about Celtic history, genealogy and Irish music. Vendors will be set up to sell merchandise unique to Celtic culture.

“There will be a good mix of entertainment and culture,” Kain said. “There’s a lot of merchandise you can get there rather than online. The festival gives people who have Scottish, Irish and Welsh heritage a chance to appreciate their culture. And if not, they can learn about it.”

One of the best parts of the festival is the food. There will be Irish Soda Bread and shepherd’s pie, but Kain said to expect festival food staples like hamburgers and hotdogs as well. In other words, there will be something for everyone.

“We just want to see people back in full force,” said Kain. “We are open rain or shine. We are looking forward to people coming back downtown and to celebrate. We’re getting back to having fun. We’re hoping for a great crowd.”

Combined ShapeCaption
The Dayton Celtic Festival will be held July 29-31 at RiverScape MetroPark. The free festival will feature workshops, vendors, food, beer, children’s activities and Irish music. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Credit: Tom Gilliam

The Dayton Celtic Festival will be held July 29-31 at RiverScape MetroPark. The free festival will feature workshops, vendors, food, beer, children’s activities and Irish music. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Combined ShapeCaption
The Dayton Celtic Festival will be held July 29-31 at RiverScape MetroPark. The free festival will feature workshops, vendors, food, beer, children’s activities and Irish music. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Volunteers are still needed. Anyone interested can sign up on the festival website at www.daytoncelticfestival.com.

“With COVID, we’ve lost a few volunteers,” said Kain. “We are always looking. Everyone is needed.”

HOW TO GO

What: Dayton Celtic Festival

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

When: Friday, July 29 from 5:30 p.m. to 11 p.m., Saturday, July 30 from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Sunday, July 31 from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Cost: Free

Info: www.daytoncelticfestival.com

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Entertainment schedule

Friday RiverScape Main Stage

  • 6-7:10 p.m. Boxing Banjo (Ireland)
  • 7:40-9:10 p.m. Gaelic Storm
  • 9:40-11 p.m. Scythian

Friday WDTN Traditional Stage

  • 6-6:50 p.m. Hyde & Ó Meachair (Ireland)
  • 7:10-8:10 p.m. The Drowsy Lads
  • 8:30-9:30 p.m. The Fitzgeralds (Canada)
  • 9:50-11 p.m. Socks in the Frying Pan (Ireland)

Friday Key Ads Stage

  • 6-6:30 p.m. McGovern Irish Dance
  • 6:45-7:15 p.m. Celtic Academy of Irish Dance
  • 7:30-8:30 p.m. Sons O’Blarney
  • 8:45-9:45 p.m. Dulahan
  • 10-11 p.m. Father, Son, and Friends
Combined ShapeCaption
The Dayton Celtic Festival will be held July 29-31 at RiverScape MetroPark. The free festival will feature workshops, vendors, food, beer, children’s activities and Irish music. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Credit: Tom Gilliam

The Dayton Celtic Festival will be held July 29-31 at RiverScape MetroPark. The free festival will feature workshops, vendors, food, beer, children’s activities and Irish music. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Combined ShapeCaption
The Dayton Celtic Festival will be held July 29-31 at RiverScape MetroPark. The free festival will feature workshops, vendors, food, beer, children’s activities and Irish music. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Saturday RiverScape Main Stage

  • Noon to 1:10 p.m. The Fitzgeralds (Canada)
  • 1:40-2:40 p.m. Scythian (ASL)
  • 3:10-4:10 p.m. The Drowsy Lads
  • 4:30-5:40 p.m. Boxing Banjo (Ireland)
  • 6-7:20 p.m. Socks in the Frying Pan (Ireland)
  • 7:40-9 p.m. Scythian
  • 9:30-11 p.m. Gaelic Storm

Saturday WDTN Traditional Stage

  • Noon to 1:20 p.m. Hyde & Ó Meachair (Ireland)
  • 1:50-3:10 p.m. Boxing Banjo (Ireland) (ASL)
  • 3:40-5 p.m. Hyde & Ó Meachair (Ireland)
  • 5:30-7 p.m. The Fitzgeralds (Canada)
  • 7:30-9 p.m. The Drowsy Lads
  • 9:30-11 p.m. Socks in the Frying Pan (Ireland) (ASL)

Saturday Key Ads Stage

  • Noon to 1 p.m. Jameson’s Folly
  • 1:15-1:45 p.m. Celtic Academy of Irish Dance
  • 2-2:30 p.m. Dwyer School of Irish Dance
  • 2:45-3:15 p.m. Celtic Academy Adults
  • 3:30-4 p.m. McGovern Irish Dance
  • 4:15-4:45 p.m. Miami Valley Pipes and Drums
  • 5:10-6:10 p.m. Fin Tan
  • 6:30-7:30 p.m. Roving Rogues
  • 7:50-9:10 p.m. Father, Son, and Friends (ASL)
  • 9:30-11 p.m. Dulahan
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Combined ShapeCaption
The Dayton Celtic Festival will be held July 29-31 at RiverScape MetroPark. The free festival will feature workshops, vendors, food, beer, children’s activities and Irish music. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Credit: Tom Gilliam

The Dayton Celtic Festival will be held July 29-31 at RiverScape MetroPark. The free festival will feature workshops, vendors, food, beer, children’s activities and Irish music. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Combined ShapeCaption
The Dayton Celtic Festival will be held July 29-31 at RiverScape MetroPark. The free festival will feature workshops, vendors, food, beer, children’s activities and Irish music. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Sunday RiverScape Main Stage

  • 10-11:30 a.m. Irish Gaelic Mass (ASL)
  • Noon to 1:40 p.m. Scythian
  • 2:10-3:50 p.m. Socks in the Frying Pan (Ireland)
  • 4:30-6 p.m. Gaelic Storm (ASL)

Sunday WDTN Traditional Stage

  • Noon to 1 p.m. Hyde & Ó Meachair (Ireland)
  • 1:20-2:30 p.m. The Drowsy Lads ASL)
  • 2:50-4:10 p.m. The Fitzgeralds (Canada)
  • 4:30-6 p.m. Boxing Banjo (Ireland)

Sunday Key A

  • Noon to 12:30 p.m. Celtic Academy of Irish Dance
  • 12:45-1:15 p.m. McGovern Irish Dance
  • 1:30-2:30 p.m. The Rice Brothers
  • 2:50-4:10 p.m. Dulahan (ASL)
  • 4:30-6 p.m. Father, Son, and Friends Stage
Combined ShapeCaption
The Dayton Celtic Festival will be held July 29-31 at RiverScape MetroPark. The free festival will feature workshops, vendors, food, beer, children’s activities and Irish music. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Credit: Tom Gilliam

The Dayton Celtic Festival will be held July 29-31 at RiverScape MetroPark. The free festival will feature workshops, vendors, food, beer, children’s activities and Irish music. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Combined ShapeCaption
The Dayton Celtic Festival will be held July 29-31 at RiverScape MetroPark. The free festival will feature workshops, vendors, food, beer, children’s activities and Irish music. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Cultural workshops

Saturday Cultural Workshops No. 1

  • Noon to 12:45 p.m. Irish Wolfhounds in Legend and Lore (Cú & Craic Irish Wolfhounds)
  • 1-1:45 p.m. The Sport of Hurling: 3,000 years of tradition and passion (Greg Bebbington)
  • 2-2:45 p.m. Irish Storytelling: Tales of Fear and Fright (Cathy Smith)
  • 3-3:45 p.m. Finding Ancient Voices in Today’s Ireland (Cindy Thomson)
  • 4-4:45 p.m. Genealogy Tips (Dayton Metro Library)
  • 5-5:45 p.m. Introduction to Irish Language (Gaeltacht Midwest)

Saturday Cultural Workshops No. 2

  • 12:30-1:15 p.m. Irish Soda Bread Demonstration (Evans Bakery)
  • 1:30-2:15 p.m. Have some Fun with the Irish Tin Whistle (Riley School of Irish Music)
  • 2:30-3:15 p.m. How to Maximize your Fiddle Practice Sessions (Riley School of Irish Music)
  • 3:30-4:15 p.m. Clogging and the Irish Influence on American Appalachian Culture (Five Point Cloggers)
  • 4:30-5:15 p.m. Intro to Irish Music with Daniel McKewen (Drowsy Lads and other headliners)

Sunday Cultural Workshops No. 1

  • 11-11:45 a.m. Irish Wolfhounds in Legend and Lore (Cú & Craic Irish Wolfhounds)
  • Noon to 12:45 p.m. Irish Story Telling: Fairy Doctors Magic and Medicine (Cathy Smith)
  • 1-1:45 p.m. The Sport of Hurling: 3,000 years of tradition and passion (Greg Bebbington)
  • 2-2:45 p.m. Introduction to Irish Language (Gaeltacht Midwest)
  • 3-3:45 p.m. 12 Stops on the St. Brigid Tour (Cindy Thomson)

Sunday Cultural Workshops No. 2

  • 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Love, Laughter and Lamentation – An Irish Song Sampler (Riley School of Irish Music)
  • 1-2 p.m. Clogging and the Irish Influence on American Appalachian Culture (Five Point Cloggers)
  • 2:30-3:15 p.m. Meet the Uillean Pipes (Riley School of Irish Music)
  • 3:30-4:15 p.m. Intro to Irish Music with Daniel McKewen (Drowsy Lads and other headliners)
Combined ShapeCaption
The Dayton Celtic Festival will be held July 29-31 at RiverScape MetroPark. The free festival will feature workshops, vendors, food, beer, children’s activities and Irish music. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Credit: Tom Gilliam

The Dayton Celtic Festival will be held July 29-31 at RiverScape MetroPark. The free festival will feature workshops, vendors, food, beer, children’s activities and Irish music. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Combined ShapeCaption
The Dayton Celtic Festival will be held July 29-31 at RiverScape MetroPark. The free festival will feature workshops, vendors, food, beer, children’s activities and Irish music. TOM GILLIAM / CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHER

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

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