Celtic Fling & Highland Games open this Saturday

By on June 22, 2016

The Celtic traditions of dance, music, food, games, and crafts come alive every year at the Celtic Fling celebration on the grounds of the Renaissance Faire, 2775 Lebanon Road, north of Manheim.

The Celtic spirit spreads across the 35 acre site, captivating the hearts of all who join the festivities. There is something for everyone — a music festival, a dance competition, a sporting event, a cultural celebration, a food fest, and an arts and crafts show all rolled into one dazzling weekend. The merriment starts at 11 a.m., both Saturday and Sunday, June 25 and 26.

Music will be provided by a number of Celtic bands and artists, including: Seamus Kennedy, Screaming Orphans, The Town Pants, Seven Nations, The Loch Rannoch Pipe and Drum Band, Albannach, Burning Bridget Cleary, Scythian, Seasons, Tartan Terrors, Dublin 5, Kilmaine Saints, Screaming Orphans, The Rogue Diplomats, Barleyjuice, The Fitzgeralds, Poor Man’s Gambit, Young Dubliners, and Enter The Haggis.

Scythian will be one of the many Celtic bands playing at this year’s Fling at the Renaissance Faire grounds. (LNP file photo)

Scythian will be one of the many Celtic bands playing at this year’s Fling at the Renaissance Faire grounds. (LNP file photo)

New for 2016, Sunday’s events will begin with an Irish breakfast in Swashbuckler Grove beginning at 10 a.m., and a Catholic Mass held in the Feasting Glen at 11 a.m.

The Celtic Fling Feis, an Irish dance competition, is set for June 25. Girls, boys, men and women ranging in ability from beginner to champion will captivate audiences as they compete in hard shoe and elegant soft shoe jigs. The audience will get a rare look at this unique dance practiced today as it has been since 18th century rural Ireland.

Also on June 25, men and women will compete in sanctioned Highland Games including the Scottish hammer, the caber toss, the sheaf toss, and stone weight throw. The athlete of the day earns an automatic berth in the East Coast Championship and the coveted North American Highland Games Championship.

The Fling showcases an array of Celtic history, culture and tradition. Historians, storytellers, re-enactors and Celtic musicians will fill both days. A gathering of the Clans offers the chance to explore clan histories and become familiar with the worthwhile missions the clans and societies maintain. The Celtic tradition continues with an Irish wake demonstration honoring the period between death and burial, a time for mourning and celebrating life. The Irish Linen Worker will use authentic 18th- and 19th-century tools to produce world-famous Irish linen. Celtic Critters will help educate visitors about the famous breeds including Greyhounds, Great Danes, Irish Setters and Irish Wolfhounds.

Greg Ramsey was between a rock and a hard place as he hefted a 16-pound rock in the stone weight throw competition at a previous Highland Games. (LNP file photo)

Greg Ramsey was between a rock and a hard place as he hefted a 16-pound rock in the stone weight throw competition at a previous Highland Games. (LNP file photo)

Hundreds of craftsmen will provide unique shopping opportunities for guests to purchase everything from Celtic themed clothing and jewelry to items made of wood, pewter, leather, glass and more.

Culinary highlights include Irish Boxty, corned beef Reubens, haggis and more from unique kitchens throughout the site. Each year, patrons assist with the Scotch Egg Challenge and will be encouraged to help to beat last year’s record of 4103 eggs sold during the 2015 weekend.

Ticket prices vary based on day of attendance. To learn more, visit PaRenFaire.com, or call 665-7021.

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