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!
Described as bold, unorthodox, vibrant, and evocative,the “Glengarry Bhoys” hybrid of Canadian Highland Scots and French Canadian musical idioms has evolved into a sound that is weighty, authoritative, and extremely entertaining. Their energy and good humor, as much a part of the show as their musicianship, crosses all cultures and ages.
From the beginning Tuatha Dea has embraced its Celtic heritage and meshed the traditional music of Scotland and Ireland with their own bold blend of mainstream rock, mountain drumming and Appalachian blues to produce a truly unique sound that has a universal appeal! Dubbed “The Eclectic Steam-Punk Partridge Family in Kilts and Corsets” and “The Appalachian Fae”, this band is real family!
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.
Tug of War is one of the oldest athletic contests known throughout recorded history. Far from the schoolyard variety is the serious leagues and sponsors in Scotland and Ireland. This event pits athlete v. athlete in a variety of exciting rounds to thrill spectators! *Only eligible athletes will participate, held on the Athletic Field.
Nevermind heading to the concert stages, these jubilant traveling minstrels will find you! The “Bards,” William Edward Drynkette and Phillip McGlass, wander about hoping someone will grace them with enough coin to purchase their next meal...usually 12 oz. or more. Willy & Phil (and the occasional guest) will return the favor with a song if they know it and feel so inclined. You never know where they’ll turn up, but be sure to stay and visit for a while.
Come see just a few of the wonderful cars displayed by the BCC of WNY. Their primary purpose is two-fold: to foster camaraderie and good will among enthusiasts of British cars, and to exchange ideas and technical expertise attendant to the restoration and preservation of British cars.
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 Sculptors' 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.
Each afternoon, the Special Events Field is filled with the sounds of muskets. Clann of the Wolfe hosts an amazing spectacle complete with swordsmanship, muskets, and Highland charge. Before the demo is over, you'll have learned a great deal and seen plenty of action!
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 one of our newest traditions, The Parting Glass Farewell (see below).
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 Celebration. This is always great fun for participants and spectators! Limited participation; sign-up details coming this summer.
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 on the Special Events Field. 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!
This new tradition, begun in 2018, is 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. They are held at noon each day on the special events field.
All are welcome! Bring your instrument to the gazebo just out front of the Celtic Arts Theatre around sunset (check the schedule). Join in this traditional style jam session, or just come listen to the one-time only music you’ll experience.
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 6:30pm 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 activities happening that are not on festival grounds.
Are you a business interested in joining in the fun in 2020? Contact Beth or call 716-778-5730 today.