Dayton Celtic Festival returns this weekend: 10 things to know

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

The United Irish of Dayton Celtic Festival returns to RiverScape MetroPark in downtown Dayton Friday, July 28 through Sunday, July 30.

The free festival, presented by the United Irish of Dayton in partnership with Five Rivers MetroParks, will feature seven headliner bands, regional performers, cultural exhibits, food and several other vendors.

Here are 10 things you should know:

1. Celtic Crush at Brixx Ice Company

To kick off the week, Brixx Ice Company, located at 500 E. First St. in Dayton, is teaming up with the Dayton Celtic Festival. Anyone visiting the establishment from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Tuesday, July 25 and write Celtic Crush on their bill, a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the festival.

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

2. Headliner bands

This year’s festival will feature three stages of entertainment (United Irish Main Stage, WDTN Traditional Stage and Key Ads Stage). Here is a list of the seven headliner bands:

  • Gaelic Storm
  • The Fitzgeralds
  • Doolin’
  • Boxing Banjo
  • Socks in the Frying Pan
  • Davy Holt
  • The Drowsy Lads

Each headliner will perform at various times on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.

3. Other regional, local performers

The festival will also feature several regional and local musical groups including Dulahan, Father Son and Friends, Jameson’s Folly, Miami Valley Pipes and Drums and The Rice Brothers.

Festivalgoers will also have several opportunities to watch various Irish Dance groups perform throughout the weekend including Celtic Academy of Irish Dance, McGovern Irish Dance and Dwyer School of Irish Dance.

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

4. 5K/10K run/walk

Attention all runners and walkers of all ages! The Dayton Celtic Festival is featuring a 5K and 10K at 9:30 a.m. on Saturday.

Registration and packet pick-up begins at 8 a.m. at the United Irish Main Stage under the Pavilion at RiverScape. Awards will be presented after the race.

5. Cultural exhibits

There will be several exhibits at the festival sharing the knowledge of Celtic history, language, genealogy and more. One returning favorite is the Irish Wolfhounds in Legend and Lore, presented by the Cú & Craic Irish Wolfhound Club. The Irish wolfhound is the world’s tallest breed of dog and was once prized as the war dog of the Celts.

Other exhibits include Irish music workshops, dancing demonstrations and information about sports such as rugby and hurling.

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

6. Food vendors

With 20 food vendors from around the Dayton area and beyond, festivalgoers can expect everything from wild caught salmon with potato hash to Irish whiskey chops and handmade pretzels. Vendors include The Dublin Pub, Bessie’s Noodles and The Hamburger Wagon among others.

7. Additional vendors

The Celtic Marketplace will feature over 40 vendors with everything from kilts and stoneware to jewelry and T-shirts. Vendors include Celtic Treasures, Uncommon Adornments and Dayton’s Celtic Connection among others.

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

8. Sunday Mass

The festival will feature a Sunday Mass starting at 10 a.m. at the United Irish Main Stage under the Pavilion at RiverScape. Mass will be presented in Gaelic and English. Irish dancers and pipers will be present.

9. Parade of Kilts

The Parade of Kilts is returning Friday and Saturday at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday immediately after Mass (around 11:30 a.m.) Those in kilts will be lead through the festival grounds by bagpipers and flag bearers to show Celtic pride.

Credit: Tom Gilliam

Credit: Tom Gilliam

10. Parking

Parking is available at 110 N. Main St. and 403 Water St. in addition to several other downtown options.

The Dublin Pub is offering a free shuttle to and from the festival. As tradition, the pub will have live Irish music and festivities throughout the weekend.

The festival takes place rain or shine 5:30 to 11 p.m. Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. For more information, visit or the festival’s Facebook page.

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