OLCOTT – Music will fill the air and mugs will overflow with Guinness and mead as the 13th annual Niagara Celtic Heritage Festival and Highland Games get under way Saturday and Sunday in Krull Park.
The grounds will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
Clan Row, the Marketplace, Food Court East and the Scottish Encampment are open 10 a.m. to dusk Saturday, while the Food Court West remains open until 10 p.m. The Ceilidh Celebration is planned for 5:30 to 10 p.m. Saturday. The Kid’s Corner will be open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Expect music all day and well into the evening, with headliners Searson taking the stage at 8 p.m. Saturday, with special guests Pyromancy.
The Highland Games will be featured from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days, with competitions including caber pole toss, sheaf toss, stone throw, 56-pound weight for height, 28-pound weight for distance, and 56-pound weight for distance.
The Saturday divisions include amateur masters, men’s masters, women’s masters, women’s open and 50+ men’s masters. Sunday’s divisions include amateur men’s, men’s pro, junior division youth boys and youth girls.
Clan Row, Food Courts East and West, Scottish Encampment and the Marketplace are open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday, with the Kid’s Corner open from noon to 5 p.m. Music continues all day Sunday on three stages, with the grand finale concert featuring the Glengarry Bhoys at 4 and 5:30 p.m.
Other attractions over the weekend include: a rugby game, falconry, dog agility and craftsmen’s demonstrations, battle games, and Scottish country dance lessons.
New this year is a Niagara Celtic 5K at 10 a.m. Sunday, which benefits the Newfane Women’s Lacrosse Club. The club is a nonprofit organization that draws athletes from the Newfane and Wilson school districts, although they get no school funding. The team, composed of girls ages 13 to 18, is entering its ninth year and several alumnae have gone on to play at the college level. The team doesn’t charge its players to participate but covers costs using fundraisers such as this race.
Registration and check-in for this race starts at 9 a.m., and it begins and ends near the festival entrance. Cost is $25 preregistration and $30 on race day.
A weekend admission pass to the festival is $20; Saturday admission is $15, and on Sunday it’s $10, while children age 12 and under are free. Parking also is free.
For a full schedule of weekend events, to pre-order tickets or learn more about the Niagara Celtic 5K, visit niagaraceltic.com.