Posted by Real-Time News.
The festival opens Friday at 4 p.m. and closes Sunday at 8 p.m.
The festival opens at 4 p.m. Friday and closes at 8 p.m. Sunday.
Events kick off Friday at 5 p.m. with the popular Haggis Bowl, an eating contest where the victor gets to boast they ate a pound of sheep innards and other ingredients, traditionally packaged in a sheep’s stomach, the fastest.
While many of the old favorites remain, organizers are trying to expand the festival’s offerings, and this year’s new additions have an artistic bent.
“We are trying to bring in more of the education and cultural experiences so people have fun stuff to learn, in addition to the games,” explained Jayne Ann Recker, festival executive director.
Additions for 2015 include:
Songwriting contest: 10:30 a.m. Saturday in the Irish Pub tent. New this year is a Celtic songwriting contest where participants will write an original piece and perform it for judges. The three judges are Graham Wright, of Glengarry Bhoys,
Seamus Kennedy and Gerry Timlin, of Timlin & Kane.
The winner gets a chance to perform before a Celtic concert at the Sellersville Theater, Recker said.
Sean-nos singing workshop: Ever want to learn more about the Irish version of a cappella singing? Learn how to do it at 4 p.m. Sunday in Moravian College’s Foy Concert Hall.
The festival is continuing the Main Street stage venue, which made its debut in 2014. The stage is open on Saturday and Sunday afternoon and was a major boon for Main Street businesses in 2014.
The popular “Showing of the Tartan” parade begins at 11:30 Saturday morning and ends at the festival grounds. The Freedom, Liberty and Bangor Area high school marching band will be featured in the parade, Recker said.
Festival goers will find the expanded children’s activity area implemented last year continuing.There will be Celtic-themed crafts and demonstrations of bagpiping and highland dancing.
“That worked really well so we kept it the same,” Recker said.
Of course, the Highland Games are at the heart of Celtic Classic and one of the biggest draws of the festival. Professional Highland athletes across the U.S. compete all season to earn points. The top 10 point earners qualify to complete at Celtic Classic to earn the U.S. Champion title.
And let’s be honest, it’s fun to watch competitors throw 22 pound hammers and tree trunks, known as cabers, like they’re bags of feathers.
There will be the usual food vendors and drinks on tap with the addition of Guinness Blonde American Lager. And sorry folks, the whisky tasting tent is totally sold out.
Here are some highlights of the schedule:
- Haggis Bowl 2015: 5 p.m. Friday Highland Field.
- Wayside Farm Border Collies: Watch these adorable dogs show their amazing skills off at 5:30 p.m. Friday and 5 p.m. Saturday, Highland Field.
- Highland Games: The games start at 6:15 Friday with the challenge caber. They resume at 10 a.m. Saturday, Highland Field, with the 22-pound hammer and the 24-pounds breamar stone at 11 a.m. The games pause for parade festivities and resume at 12:45 p.m. with the 56-pound weight for distance; the sheaf toss at 2:30 and the caber toss at 4 p.m. The feats of strength resume at 9:30 a.m. Sunday with the 16-pound hammer throw and wrap up at 3 p.m. with the challenge caber.
- Pipe band competitions: The contest will be held at 12:30 Saturday and noon Sunday in the Wooden Match parking lot.
- Highland Dance competition: Starts at 8:30 Saturday in Foy Hall.
Visit celticfest.org for the full schedule of events.