We are back in 2022 and growing still!!! Looking to escape to a Celtic Village? Something new is coming to the auld village green on Saturday, June 4 in the Community Park in Friendsville. The Garrett County Celtic Festival village (9:30 AM–6 PM) continues to bring to life the traditions of Scotland, Ireland, Brittany, Wales, Cornwall, and Asturias. Historical lectures, living history in the field, genealogy in the Glen of Scottish Clans, the Great Highland Games, and entertainers share the lore, traditions, and music ,.. so much music!

FESTIVAL PARADE at 9:30 AM: Pipes and Drums welcome you.

THE GATHERING at NOON: Don’t miss it! Mary Queen of Scots, Knights of St. Andrews Color Guard, pipes and drums, pageant of Clans, Living History Units, and dancers.

We are pleased to welcome back the Seán Heely Trio, IONA, and our local favorites Aurora Celtic and the Shanty Irish. On the Dance Stage, the Teelin School of Irish Dance and the Pittsburgh Scottish Country Dance Society will perform and, along with Anjuli and Raz, provide opportunities to learn some moves.

Appearing on the Shamrock Stage this year, Greg Latta performs on pipes and bouzouki, Lynne Dale and Avalon Folmsbee play Celtic harp, Bob Shank demonstrates how traditional instruments have found their way into local culture, and Tracy Jenkins returns with Scottish Border pipes. All will share traditions and stories about the musical development of their instruments.

NEW this year are WORKSHOPS for ages 12-22 in music and dance performance, writing and character presentation, living history, and volunteerism, among others. Local authors will talk about their work and chat with aspiring writers and storytellers. Many types of Celtic instruments and ensemble playing will be explored. Introductory dance includes coaching on Irish, Scottish Country, and clogging. Teens and young adults who are looking for a way to be involved in learning these arts and who are seeking a creative, welcoming community are welcome.

Literature! Novels, fable, history, and poetry are captured in books offered by three local authors: Séamus Muir (Jim Zoller), Laura Treacy Bently, and Patricia Hopper Patteson. They will discuss their work, inspiration, and process with aspiring story tellers.

The bairns (little kids) too can enjoy a whole day of fun at the Rainbow’s End. Among the many creative activities available are Celtic crafts, face painting, elf gardens, and costuming. The children can register to play in the Highland Games, the caber toss and the haggis hurl among the events. They will hear tales and fables, and meet owl and hawk, be entranced by Celtic folk lore, sing Gaelic tunes, and perhaps participate in a play about a great Irish fable. It’s a day-long family affair with lots to do, hear, and see. Bring the kids (they’re admitted free).

John Miles is back with more history to share. How did Scots/Irish immigration manifest in Maryland as far west as the mountains? What is the history of the tartan and what is the great kilt? Learn how to construct your own Feileadh Mòr.

Speaking of Western Maryland, Liz Gilbert presents A Welsh Miner’s Daughter in Frostburg, and Carl Rauscher will link Clan Bell, our honored Clan of 2022, to the Beall family of local note. Cecilia Wright, docent and board member of the Irish Railroad Workers Museum, will share history of the Irish and their impact on the development of the B&O in Cumberland.

On the Highland Stage, Ellen Wilds will share Gaelic tales and song, and Mary Queen of Scots will tell us about her struggle for her rightful place in history. Tea and the Celtic Connection offered by the Larkin Tea Company, and Traditions of the Irish Wake (Wright) will make an enjoyable afternoon entertainment.

In the field, look for Alfonso Diaz who grew up in Asturias and learned the ancient art of scything. He is looking for challengers with weed-eaters to help him level a part of the park that needs mowing. Welcome Flintlocks and Fiddles, a living history exhibit about times during the French and Indian War. And we welcome back the Appin Regiment portraying the Stewarts of Appin, a group of Scottish Highlanders and Jacobites in the period of 1745-1746.

The Highland Games are back to demonstrate traditional competition of the heavy events: sheaf toss, caber toss, stone put, and hammer throw, among others. Testing both strength and power, the Games were originally designed to find the best warriors, couriers, and clan bodyguards. Our competition hosts the flights of women as well.

Browse and procure themed wares among the many craft vendors in the Celtic Marketplace and look for demonstrations of the arts involved. And, the variety of traditional foods and spirited drink greatly enhance your village experience.

RAIN OR SHINE! Plenty of cover and seating is available, but lawn chairs are welcome. Parking is on site and free. The park grounds are completely accessible for the disabled. Tickets at the gate cost: Adults $20, Youth 13-18 $10, Kids 12 and under free Discounted adult tickets can be purchased online at gccelticfestival.com for a limited time. Get yours soon.

The Highland Festival of Garrett County, Inc is a nonprofit, volunteer organization supported by generous grants from the Maryland Heritage Areas Authority, Mountain Maryland: Gateway to the West, the Garrett County Arts Council, the Community Trust Foundation and businesses and individuals like you. A full list of sponsors and the opportunity to support the festival is available at gccelticfestival.com/sponsors.

For more information, visit our website at gccelticfestival.com, email us at gcceltfest@gmail.com or call 301.501.0304.