A visit to Niagara Celtic is not complete without attending our Saturday evening Ceilidh (kay-lee). It's the one time each weekend when guests and participants celebrate together. Enjoy a concert at the Fireside Stage, relax by the bonfires, and enjoy wonderful drinks. Some food vendors and artisans will remain open so you can shop under the moonlight. Be sure to join us for this wonderful tradition!
Combining primal rhythms, melodic and ethereal ballads, screaming guitar riffs with an Appalachian/Celtic vibe, Tuatha Dea delivers an authentic tribal and clannish feel. They embrace their Celtic heritage and mesh it with their own bold blend of mainstream rock, mountain drumming and Appalachian blues to produce a truly unique sound that has a universal appeal!
Pittsburgh-based Bastard Bearded Irishmen is one of the most entertaining and energetic live shows today. Their sound is an original, ferocious blend of traditional and contemporary Celtic music, mixed with punk, gypsy and high-energy rock n’ roll. They’re hard-partying and always in good spirit!
Not everything during the festival occurs all weekend. Some productions happen for a short time, while others are constantly on the move. Take a look at the special events you can join in on this year.
Saturday at sunhigh in Fiddler's Green, join us for a special ceremony to introduce and honor all the Scottish clans in attendance for the weekend. Historically, the Calling of the Clans was a gathering of clans in preparation for battle, unifying all the clans as one. Today, it signifies the connections we share within our families, heritage and community.
A magical part of Niagara Celtic since the beginning, guests and participants gather around the Fire Keepers' weekend-long fires. They host various ceremonies, including Calling of the Clans, Beltane rituals, the Wishing Tree Finale, and are a vital part of the Saturday evening Ceilidh. Each fire begins with the ashes of the year before, making our 'eternal' flames the perfect gathering place for all to share and celebrate their Celtic heritage.
The Fireside Stage, located in the center of festival grounds, is the final gathering place for guests and participants as Niagara Celtic winds down after an amazing weekend. The Grand Finale Concert always feature fan-favorite bands, along with occasional surprises and final celebrations while everyone is still gathered together. Make sure to stay until the end and take part in a favorite finale tradition, The Parting Glass Farewell (see below).
Sponsored by ScottishStoreOnline. Do you have what it takes to eat your way to the top prize? Enter our annual Haggis Eating Competition, held near the Fireside Stage during the Ceilidh. This is always great fun for participants and spectators! Limited participation; sign-up at the competition sponsor's tent on Saturday afternoon.
This lovely tradition honors volunteers and festival supporters who have passed away in the past year. The service includes dedications, remembrances and gifts to their loved ones, and takes place at the Motte & Bailey Arena. Included in participation are many clans present during the festival, along with Newfane American Legion Post 873.
As the sun begins to set, head to Fiddler's Green for a one-of-a-kind experience. Pipers and musicians unite, surrounding our ceremonial fires as they kick-off the Ceilidh Celebration with wonderful performances and sing-a-longs. Don't miss being a part of this very special event!
A moving tribute held to say thanks and farewell to Niagara Celtic...until next year! Following the Grand Finale Concert, the final song played on stage will be The Parting Glass*, which officially closes the festival. The performance will be led by a different guest or group each year, so you never know who will walk on stage and surprise you with their own rendition.
Participants can include clans, groups, living historians and Massed Band performances. Special ceremonies may follow. They are held at noon each day in Madoc Yard.
The Wishing Tree is where wishes are gathered from guests and participants all weekend. In order for the wishes to properly heard, it's a tradition to burn the wishes so the words are sent to the skies and received by the spirits or wee folk. Join the Fire Sculptors and Niagara Celtic staff at 6:50pm along the ceremonial fires, as we officially send off the wishes in hopes many will be answered!
We're honored to have local businesses and groups joining in on the celebration. Here's a list of nearby Celtic activities that are not on festival grounds.
Are you a business interested in joining in the fun ? Contact Beth today.