For Hometown News
The Clans are ready to gather for the fourth annual Ormond Beach Celtic Festival and Highland Games April 26-27.
The event returns to Rockefeller Gardens with five stages of music, two days of Highland Games, authentic Celtic food, vendors selling everything from claddagh rings to tartan kilts, and kids activities.
The weekend attracts more than 10,000 people each year. Admission is $5 for adults. Children under 12 are admitted free.
The party begins at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, April 25, with a whisky tasting hosted by Ormond MainStreet, Oceanside Country Club and the Central Florida Malt Whisky Cabinet. Sample five unique and unusual Scotch whiskies and learn about their history, their flavors and their secrets from whisky experts Art MacIntosh and Terry Henson. Tickets are $25 and available by calling (386) 492-2938 or online at ormondwhiskytasting.eventbrite.com.
The gates open at 10 a.m. on April 26.
On the south side of the Granada bridge, festival goers will find three stages of continuous music, a jam tent and vendors featuring Celtic food, crafts and jewelry and, of course, plenty of Guinness. More than 20 bands as well two Celtic dance troupes from the United States, Canada and the British Isles will appear throughout the weekend. This year's Main Stage headliners are Celtic harpist and storyteller Patrick Ball and Irish singer and songwriter Brendan Nolan. Both headliners will perform Saturday and Sunday.
Fortunato Park, on the north side of the bridge, is home to the Highland Games as well as a party tent featuring more Celtic bands and a beer garden. The Games are sanctioned by the North American Scottish Games Athletics organization and attract male and female athletes from around the region. Competition goes on all day Saturday, while there are demonstrations and classes Sunday.
Kids can enjoy the magic of the Celtic lands in their own special village under the bridge with story tellers, face painters, mini-highland games and a chance to enter the realm of pixies, elves and sprites. They can create a faerie house or build their own magic sword or princess crown.
In addition to all the music on stage there is a twice-daily parade by the Festival's award-winning bagpipe band, Rosy O'Grady's Highlanders, and a daily parade by all the attending Clans. If your dog is an Irish setter, a Welsh corgi or a Scottie dog -- or you just want to dress your pup in plaid --- be sure to visit the festival on Sunday for the dog parade. Dogs can be entered in the parade by making a contribution of dog food or supplies to be given to the Halifax Humane Society and there will be prizes for the best-dressed dog.
For information, visit ormondbeachcelticfestival.com.