A “Day of Celtic Music” presented by the Garrett County Celtic Festival on Saturday, June 5 from 10:30 a.m. – 6 p.m. will be held in the beautiful Friendsville Town Park on the Youghiogheny River. The day-long stage events will include Celtic, Scottish, and Irish music. Great Highlands Pipes and Drums will open the day and present short concerts. The lineup also includes the Teelin Irish Dance Company.

Featured bands include the Shanty Irish, Aurora Celtic, and the Seán Heely Celtic Trio. The Shanty Irish are from Cumberland and have been a featured band at the festival for the last 5 years and previously at the Highland Festival. The Shanty Irish Band consists of several friends who enjoy making traditional Irish folk music similar to what one would hear in ‘singing pubs’ scattered throughout Ireland. Much of our music dates from the 18th and 19th centuries and tells tales of fighting and revolution, love, and the wonders of poitin and porter (whiskey and beer).

Experience the magic music of Scotland and Ireland with the Seán Heely Celtic Trio, new to our stage this year, featuring U.S National Scottish Fiddle champion Seán Heely, acclaimed multi-instrumentalist Kevin Elam, and Scottish border piper Tracy Jenkins. The three gents bring together multiple different instruments to perform fiery dance tunes and ancient, soaring melodies from Scotland and Ireland. Original compositions abound and they have rich vocal harmonies in their solid song repertoire that features ballads, sea shanties, and songs in Irish and Scottish folk tradition. Seán plays fiddle, mandocello, shruti box, and sings in English, Irish, and Scots Gaelic. Kevin plays guitar, whistle, banjo, and is an accomplished vocalist. Tracy plays highland pipes, border pipes, and whistle. They have performed in venues such as the Kennedy Center, Strathmore Music center, CCE Irish Folk Festival Fairfax VA, Virginia Scottish games, and the Niel Gow Festival in Scotland.

Also familiar to our guests is Aurora Celtic. From the hills of West Virginia, the band joins us again to play evocative, original and traditional music for guitar, fiddle, Irish flute, whistle, mandolin and tenor banjo that bridges the cultures of Scotland, Ireland and Appalachia. Band members Alice Fleischman, Michael Broderick, Chris Bern and Wes Ridenour are multi-instrumentalists who have played throughout the Mid-Atlantic states, at the Kennedy Center and in Europe. Their music has twice been featured on NPR’s Thistle & Shamrock music program.

For children this year, the Ruth Enlow Library will have “take away” projects for kids to enjoy with their families. According to Thomas Vose, Director, “We will have a craft for young kids as well as a medieval illumination activity for older kids and teens. We’ll also be spotlighting our Friendsville Library building project, for which we’re raising funds, and people can learn about the future of their Library there. We will also have material on the many great services the Library provides both online and off.”

At this time, however, we must regretfully eliminate all close-in gatherings and the events in them (Village Stage, Shamrock Room, Highland Pavilion, and the children’s Rainbow’s End) for 2021. While food and beverages will be available, the Celtic Marketplace will not be held this year. We invite families to bring chairs, small tents, and blankets to enjoy the day.

Due to continuing COVID guidelines provided by the Maryland State AND the Garrett County Health Department, advance tickets will be required this year and are limited. Tickets can be purchased in advance online at gccelticfestival.com or at some Ruth Enlow Library locations until the limit has been reached or until June 1st, 2021. NO TICKETS WILL BE SOLD AT THE GATE. COVID safety precautions will be in place so please continue to check our website for details. Stay tuned at www.celticfestival.com and on our FaceBook page for more information.

If you hold a ticket won in 2020 through special distribution, raffle, or donation, it will be still be honored.

This year’s event is sponsored in part by generous grants from The Maryland Heritage Areas Authority: Mountain Maryland gateway to the West; the Garrett County Arts Council; the Maryland State Arts Council and produced by support from our many volunteers.

Questions may be directed to gcceltfest@gmail.com. Join us for a great day in the great outdoors in our beautiful highland location.