For Hometown News
"Will ye be wantin' a bit of haggis with that?"
Ormond Beach's third annual celebration of all things Celtic returns to Rockefeller Gardens on April 19-21.
Celtic vendors, Celtic food and, most importantly, Celtic music will be featured for the duration of the festival.
The festival opens Friday evening with a whisky tasting and concert featuring acclaimed Irish harpists Grainne Hambly and William Jackson, as well as the Scots pop band Drever-McGuire-Young. The tasting will be from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the Anderson Price Building, 42 N. Beach St., Ormond Beach. The concert is at 7 p.m. at the Ormond Beach Performing Arts Center.
Everything moves outdoors on Saturday where, in addition to non-stop music on three stages, there will be an opportunity to watch Highland Games, including a Caber Toss, Sheaf Throw and Hammer Toss. Rosie O'Grady's pipe band will parade the grounds several times each day, leading a procession of the gathered clans through the park. There will be fresh food in the Celtic tradition and more American fare. There will be lots of Guinness and other drinks.
There will be a ceili -- a Celtic dance party -- at 5 p.m. Saturday. Festival musicians will provide the tunes on fiddle, flute, tin whistle, guitar and bodhrán. The caller will teach the steps.
As soon as the dance is over, the headliners take to the stage for an evening's entertainment under the stars.
Sunday features more bands, a mid-day "Kirkin' of the Tartan" and demonstrations of outdoor skills, including axe throwing by the Flying Hawkes, Highland Games skills and, perhaps, a wee bit o' sheep tipping. Both days have a kids' zone with crafts and lots of family activities and, of course, plenty of music.
Local musicians who want to join the party are welcome to bring their own instruments either day to join the artists in the "jam tent" or at an after hours jam session at Lulu's Oceanside Grill, 20 S. Atlantic Ave., Ormond Beach.
Daily admission to the festival is $5 per person (children younger than 12 free). A two-day pass is available for $8. Advance tickets for Friday's whiskey tasting are $26 and tickets for the concert at the Ormond Beach Performing Arts Center are $18 adults/$9 children. The advance sale Friday night combo ticket is $40. An "all festival" ticket, including Friday night's whiskey tasting and concert, as well as all the activities Saturday and Sunday, are available for $45. For information and tickets, visit ormondbeachcelticfestival.com.