Weekend-long event projected to attract more than 12,000 guests
Celtic tradition comes back to Niagara USA with the 14th annual Niagara Celtic Heritage Festival & Highland Games, set to take place Sept. 13-14 at Krull Park in the hamlet of Olcott Beach (just an hour away from both Buffalo and Rochester).
Guests will have the chance to immerse themselves in the rich traditions and pageantry of Ireland, Scotland and Wales. Live Celtic music, dancers, sports, clans, re-enactors, vendors, food, contests and children's activities will come together to make the festival memorable for all.
The honorary chief of this year's festival is Archibald Angus Charles Kennedy, 8th Marquess of Ailsa, 19th Earl of Cassillis and international chief of Clan Kennedy from Scotland. In addition, Clan Henderson will have its national meeting at the festival with representatives attending from all over the U.S., including the U.S. Clan chief.
The festival will feature a variety of special events, including a dart tournament, rugby matches, the second annual Niagara Celtic 5K, a cannon firing and arms demonstration, ceremonial parades and Highland Games' opening and closing ceremonies.
The Niagara Celtic Heritage Society, which hosts the annual festival, aims to restore, preserve and promote Celtic culture for generations to come, as well as support the historic Krull Park at Olcott Beach. With an estimated one third of the region's population (up to 500,000 people) speculated as having Celtic ancestry and tens of thousands of people attending Celtic events across Western New York every year, this large-scale event celebrates the Celtic heritage in a way that entertains and educates guests at the same time.
"We have been fortunate to see attendance significantly grow every year since we began this festival in 2001," said festival co-director Phil Banks. "We see guests of all ages come to this festival from all over the United States and Canada, as well as visitors from Europe, Australia and other countries."
Admission to the Niagara Celtic Heritage Festival is $20 per person on Saturday, Sept. 13, and $12 per person Sunday, Sept. 14. Kids ages 12 and under are free. Weekend passes are $25. Parking is free. For more information about the festival, including the latest schedule of events, visit www.NiagaraCeltic.com or call 716-778-5730.
Leading up to the festival, the Niagara Tourism Convention Corp. will provide ticket giveaways to social media users. Check NTCC's Facebook and Twitter pages at www.facebook.com/NiagaraFallsUSA and @NiagaraFallsUSA for a chance to win tickets.
The Niagara Celtic Heritage Society Inc. was established in 2001. For more information, visit www.niagaraceltic.com.