The historic Dills Tavern will host the inaugural Dills Celtic Festival from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, April 14. This one-day festival, held rain or shine, will feature Celtic crafts, merchandise, music, dancers, food and beverages.
Dills Tavern is located at 227 N. Baltimore St., in Dillsburg. The festival is being sponsored jointly by the Northern York Historical & Preservation Society and the Dillsburg Area Business Association. Admission is $10 and free to children 12 and younger.
Bands will perform on three stages; the Main Stage, the Wheelwright Stage and at the Courtyard and Grounds. On the main stage, opening ceremonies and announcements will begin at 9:30 a.m., followed by the Celtic Martins at 11:15 a.m. and 3:00 p.m., Down By the Glenside at 12:30 p.m., Across the Pond at 1:45 p.m., and Kilmaine Saints at 4:15 p.m.
Musicians featured on the Wheelwright Stage include The Weavers at 10:45 a.m., Dave Pedrick at noon and 2:30 p.m., and Darby Beat at 1:15 and 3:45 p.m.
There will be pipers and Irish step dancing throughout the day at the tavern’s courtyard, including the Lochiel Emerald Society Pipes and Drums, Rebel Heart Irish Dancers, Carraig School of Irish Dance, Coyle School of Irish Dance, “strolling” violinist/fiddler Betsy Barnicle, and fight circle demonstrations on the grounds.
Vendors include A Little Irish Too (an Irish Goods shop located in Gettysburg), American Highlander Kilts, Barshell Designs (handmade leather jewelry), Celt Wares (an Irish Goods shop located in Lancaster), Celtic Knot Alpacas (handcrafted items made from alpaca fiber), Emperor’s Needle Leather (whimsical leather items), Gallowglass Prints (photographs of Ireland), InFamous Welsh Cookie Company, Irish Lass Glass by Sinéad Moss (glassware), Just Peachy Jewels (Celtic jewelry), Lord of the Seas (cultural gift shop), Oxford Hall Celtic Shop (an Irish Goods shop located in New Cumberland), R E Piland Goldsmiths (Celtic jewelry) and Shining Crow Designs (handcrafted jewelry). Food will be available for sale by the Garryowen Irish Pub and The Sweet Patch.
Dill’s Tavern, also known as Eichelberger’s Tavern and Logan House, is a large, 2 1⁄2-story Federal style sandstone building built around 1794.
Numerous additions have been made throughout the years, including Colonial Revival-style alterations made about 1935. It housed a tavern until 1835, after that serving as a private residence and an antiques store.
Dill’s Tavern was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2004.
Delvin Cunningham, president of the Dillsburg Area Business Association, said the event aims to pay homage to the rich history of the Scots-Irish and their many traditions.
“A large group of Scots-Irish immigrated to this area and settled here,” he said. “Through this festival we wanted to recognize their contributions through showcasing this group’s music, dance, art, food and way of life.”
Cunningham also noted that the site was a perfect place for the inaugural event.
“The festival will be located on the grounds of the Dill’s Tavern, although people will be able to get in to see the tavern too,” he said. “This historic site offers a fitting place to celebrate the region’s heritage”
For information and tickets, visit https://dillscelticfest.com.