September 16 & 17, 2023 | Saturday 10am-10:30pm; Sunday 10am-6:30pm
Cheer on your favorite athlete as they compete in the centuries' old strongman competitions known as Highland Games. A highlight of Niagara Celtic, our diverse games include Pro, Am, and Open. We host one of the largest multiple division games in the world! Over 60 athletes from across the U.S. and Canada compete in 13 different divisions over 2 days.
Braemar Stone Throw for distance
Caber Pole Toss
56 lb. for height
28 lb. for distance
56 lb. for distance
40+ Women's Amateur
50+ Women's Amateur
60+ Women's Amateur
40+ Men's Amateur
50+ Men's Amateur
Mens Pro Masters 40+
Men's Amateur Group 1
Men's Amateur Group 2
50+ Men's Pro
60+ Men's Pro
60+ Men's Amateur
Feel free to stop and meet the athletes anytime of the day. We'd be happy to answer questions and/or take photographs. Just make sure we're not growling, snorting or have a heavy stone in our hands!
Ancient Scottish clans defended their territories from one another through their best warriors. Highland chiefs chose warriors based on physically demanding contests held during clan gatherings. Many believe these contests are the basis of modern Highland Games. They evolved over the centuries and now consist of stone, hammer and weight throws, and caber & sheaf tosses.
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!
Taking inspiration from Celtic history, stories and myth, SYR blends their various unique backgrounds to create powerful songs with themes like battle, love, loss, heritage and victory.
The Screaming Orphans are four sisters who draw on a diverse set of influences, with a strong focus on melody-driven songs with pop and rocks strains.
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.
At various times during the festival you'll find the Bard telling wonderful tales under The Storyteller's Tree. You may also get to meet him whenever our favorite tree wanders the grounds!
Saturday at sun-high in Fiddler's Green, join us for a special ceremony to honor all the clans in attendance for the weekend. Historically, Calling of the Clans was a gathering of clans in preparation for battle, unifying the clans as one. Today, it signifies connections we share within our families, heritage and community.
A magical part of Niagara Celtic from the beginning, guests and participants gather around the Fire Keepers' weekend-long fires. They host various ceremonies, including Calling of the Clans, Beltane rituals, Wishing Tree Send-Off, and Ceilidh Celebration. Each fire begins with the ashes of the year before, making our 'eternal' flames the perfect gathering place for all to share and celebrate Celtic heritage.
The Fireside Stage is the final gathering place as Niagara Celtic winds down after an amazing weekend. The Grand Finale Concert features a fan-favorite band. 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 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.
Each year we honor volunteers and festival supporters who have passed away in the last year. The service takes place at The Motte & Bailey Arena and includes dedications, remembrances and gifts to their loved ones. Participating in the service include clans and 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 17th century song is sung as the final hospitality offered to departing guests. Following the Grand Finale Concert we all gather to say thanks and farewell to Niagara Celtic...until next year! The performance is led by a different guest or group each year, so you never know who will 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 Keepers and Niagara Celtic staff along the ceremonial fires, as we officially send off the wishes in hopes many will be answered!