Lancaster Event Celebrates Celtic Heritage

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It will be an invasion of kilts and clans when A Celtic Gathering returns to the Fairfield County Fairgrounds on May 18.

"This event is for everyone," explained Cindy McLaughlin Smith, co-president of the Lancaster Celtic Committee, about the celebration of Irish, Scottish, and Welsh heritage. "If anyone wants to know more about their heraldry we will help, and we’ll have family crests and family trees. We can help people get on the right track to learn about their family history and genealogy."

Set for 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. at the AAA Building at the Fairfield County Fairgrounds in Lancaster, highlights include opening ceremonies at 10 a.m., the clan parade at 11 a.m. and the Grand School of Irish Dance at 11:30am.

There will be also a Celtic marketplace, travel information, and competitive Highland athletics.

"Of course we’ll have Clans represented at booths, traditional food, plus ice cream and other types of food," Smith added.

Music will be an important part of the day and include performances by the headline band Boys of the Hock from 1-3 p.m., who perform instrumental Celtic numbers.

The Highlanders bagpipe group will be there, along with harpists, drummers and fiddlers. Storytelling for all ages will be presented and many cultural demonstrations will be presented, such as Welsh cooking by members of the Welsh Society.

"The Vikings will be back, they have been very popular in the past and now with the television series, there may be even more interest," Smith said.

Vendors, many returning, will have wares like handmade Celtic soap and flags of all the Celtic nations available for purchase.

The tentative schedule has the Scottish Highland Dancers performing at 3 p.m. and the band Second Wind at 4 p.m.

The athletic events, to be held at the west-end infield of the track, will run all day. The games include kapur, weight for height, and weight for distance. Children’s Highland Games will also be offered.

The last Celtic Gathering was held in 2011 at the Moose Lodge, with the previous two events held at the fairgrounds. The committee is hoping to grow the volunteer group and encourage anyone interested in joining to visit the celebration or contact them at 740-654-4149.

Admission to A Celtic Gathering is $6 for adults, $5 for senior citizens and students six-17, and free for children five and under. Parking is free and the event will be held rain or shine.

A Celtic Gathering is a family-oriented event to celebrate Scottish, Welsh, and Irish heritage through cultural education, entertainment, music, food, sports, arts and historical exhibits.

"We’d like for people attending to spend as much time as they can checking out the Highland Athletics completion and the entertainment inside the AAA Building," said Smith. "It will be a fun, relaxing day."

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Article republished with permission from The Fairfield Towne Crier.