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Celtic Heritage Festival at Graeme Park

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Celtic Heritage Festival, which is in its 16th year, is being held on July 21 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The festival celebrates the Scottish Heritage of the Keith, Graeme, and Fergusson families who lived at Graeme Park in the 18th century and is the Friends of Graeme Park’s largest fundraising event to support educational and community programs, operations, and historic preservation of the National Historic Landmark Keith House at Graeme Park.    

Visitors can sit on the shady lawn or in the big event tent and enjoy the music and dancing, which includes the high-energy, original, traditional, and contemporary Irish music of the Barley Boys, the Irish and American fiddle tunes and step dance routines of the Celtic Martins (formerly the Martin Family Band), the traditional songs of England, Scotland and Ireland played by Carl Peterson on acoustic guitar, the Bucks Caledonia and MacGregor pipe and drum bands and the Sabo School of Irish Dance.

In addition to the music and dance, Dan Emery will be demonstrating different types of bagpipes and how they are played, Bonnie Heather Greene will explain the art and science of sewing a traditional kilt, Casey O’Connor will give lessons in Gaelic, the reenactors of the 69th PA Irish will tell of the contributions of the Irish to the Civil War and a blacksmith and hearth cook will demonstrate traditional Colonial skills.

Throughout the day there will be a women’s Highland athletic competition with contestants participating in events such as Open and Braemar Stores, Weights for Distance, the Caber Toss, the Sheaf Toss and Weight for Height and visitors can enter a Haggis eating contest.

Kids are sure to love watching the border collies herd sheep and ducks, or they can participage in interactive storytelling and songs with Ruthanne Ankney, see the Kilted Juggler spin plates and juggle a variety of different things, participate in their own Celtic games (pool noodle toss anyone?), or make a craft.

Along with all of the entertainment, vendors with a wide assortment of Celtic and fine artisan crafts — jewelry, knitwear, kilts, wood carvings, silver, china, t-shirts, needlework, heraldry, and the like -will be offering high quality items to avid shoppers. Both Celtic food from F.J. Donovan’s and American food from Woody’s Bar-B-Q will be available, so visitors can plan to spend the day enjoying the entertainment and browsing the vendors and filling up on delicious food and cold drinks, including a tall frosty one in the over-21 beer tent.

Representatives from various Celtic clans and non-profits will be on hand to discuss family history and heritage and various other aspects of Celtic culture.

Admission is $10 for adults (18+) and $5 for youth (6-17) or $30/family (2 adults and accompanying children).

Call 215-343-0965 for details. Directions are available on our Web site at www.graemepark.org.

Schedule of Events for the Graeme Park Celtic Festival

Flag Raising

11:00—Pipe & Drum Bands

Keith House Stage

11:30-12:15—Bagpipe Demo (Dan Emery)

12:30-1:15—Carl Peterson

1:30-2:00—Pipe & Drum Bands

2:00-2:45—The Celtic Martins

3:00-3:30—Pipe & Drum Bands

3:30-4:15—The Celtic Martins

4:30—Athletics Awards & Haggis Trophy

5:00-5:45—The Barley Boys

5:45-6:00—Pipe & Drum Bands

6:00-6:45—The Barley Boys

Keith House Courtyard

House Tours

Kilt-Maker (Bonnie Heather Greene)

Blacksmith

69th Irish Civil War Regiment

Hearth Cooking

Graeme Park Archaeology

Festival Tent

12:30-1:00—Sabo School of Irish Dance

1:30-2:15—Celtic Stories & Songs (Ruthanne Ankney)

2:30-3:15—Carl Peterson

3:00-3:30—Sabo School of Irish Dance

4:00—Haggis Eating Contest

Field 1

11:30-3:30—Highland Athletics 

Field 2

1:00-1:45—Border Collie/Herding Demo

3:30-4:15—Border Collie/Herding Demo

Barn Yard

Ongoing

Moonbounce

Children’s Crafts & Games

Carl Peterson

The Kilted Juggler

2:15—Celtic Dance Demo

2:30– Kilt-Making Demo

3:00—Celtic Instrument Demo

Visitors Center

3:15—Celtic Language Instruction (Casey O’Connor)

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