Bagpipes, kilts and more will fill Lakeside Park in Mayville this weekend as clans from around the area converge for the seventh annual Jamestown Regional Celtic Festival and Gathering of the Clans.
The event, hosted by the 96th Highlanders Pipes and Drums Inc. of Jamestown, is held every summer, drawing visitors from across the region for the pipe bands, Scottish heavy athletics and other unique events.
The 96th Highlanders were established in 2001, and the band is under the direction of Pamela Silver. The group participates in parades and concerts across the tri-county area and has been invited to several other area festivals.
The seventh annual Jamestown Regional Celtic Festival and Gathering of the Clans will be held this weekend. The event, hosted by the 96th Highlanders Pipes and Drums Inc. of Jamestown, is held every summer, drawing visitors from across the region for the pipe bands, Scottish heavy athletics and other unique events.
Photo courtesy of the 96th Highlanders Pipes and Drums Inc.
A kick-off party Friday evening from 6 to 10 p.m. featuring Celtic music group Mary's Lane from Cleveland, Ohio, will be free to attend. There will be food and beverages for sale at the party, which will be held in the beer and wine garden at Lakeside Park.
The festivities officially begin Saturday at 9 a.m. Nine different pipe bands will be at the festival this year and will be entertaining guests with both morning and afternoon concerts. The bands, which come from as far away as Cleveland for the festival, will be playing an assortment of traditional Scottish and Irish pipe tunes. The morning concerts begin at 9:15 a.m. with a different band playing every 20 minutes, and the afternoon series begins at 1 p.m.
After the pipe bands finish playing, a ceilidh (kay-lee) will be held in the beer and wine garden. Ceilidhs are traditionally social gatherings with music and dancing. The Lochside Celtic Band from Wilson will be back again this year to play from 6 to 10 p.m.
Along with the featured bands, Charlie Zahm, Stone Row, Celtic Creek, Step In Time and McCarthyizm will also be providing entertainment at the festival. McCarthyizm, hailing from Buffalo, has shared the stage with international acts including the Glengarry Bhoys and The Proclaimers.
There will also be a Scottish heavy athletics competition, featuring the Buffalo Heavies. Each competitor participates in six events: the open stone throw, a weight throw for distance, the Scottish hammer throw, caber toss, sheaf toss and weight toss. Each competitor will have three attempts to achieve their personal best, and at the end of the competition, there will be a winner named for each event as well as an overall winner.
Along with the entertainment there will be 20 vendors set up at the festival, offering kilts, jewelry and bagpipes, as well as everything in between. Local food vendors will also be available selling both traditional Highland food as well as the more common fair foods like fried dough, curly fries and hot dogs.
Admission to the festival is $8 for adults and $6 for seniors. Children 12 and under are admitted free of charge. Tickets will be available at the gate. For those on the 96th Highlanders email or mailing lists, postcards will be sent entitling them to $1 off of each admission for up to four people.
For more information about the Seventh Annual Regional Celtic Festival, the Scottish heavy athletics event schedule, the 96th Highlanders or to sign up for their email list, visit www.96thhighlanders.com. Directions to the festival can also be found on the website.