McLain Celtic Fest (copy)

Celtic clans walk with family flags during the parade at the McLain Celtic Festival in 2016.

Sentinel file

The annual McLain Celtic Festival, a popular event that celebrates the heritage of the Celtic people, will be held this year on Saturday, Sept. 2 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sponsored by the Cumberland County Historical Society, the festival will be held at the Two Mile House, located at 1189 Walnut Bottom Road in Carlisle. The festival is a family-oriented event featuring Celtic music and dance, Highland Athletics, Border Collie demonstrations, Scottish Clans and vendors with Celtic food and other Celtic goods.

Music will be presented during most of the day in the Music Tent, on the Glen Stage and on the Corn Crib Stage. One of the festival headliners, Charlie Zahm, will be back again by popular demand. A festival regular, this is Zahm’s 20th time to appear at the festival. He’ll perform throughout the day in the Corn Crib area, joined by fiddle Tad Marks. The duo will also play an afternoon set in the Music Tent from 3:15 to 4 p.m.

Zahm’s deep baritone voice, pleasing repertoire and mastery on guitar has led to him becoming one of the most successful performers on the Celtic festival circuit. During his performances, he weaves together beautiful Celtic songs and melodies with humorous anecdotes about Scottish and Irish history. Zahm has loved Scottish music all his life after first hearing it in the largely Scottish province of Ontario, Canada, the place of his mother’s birth.

Tad Marks often accompanies Zahm on fiddle during his live shows and has played with him on recordings as well. Aside from playing with Zahm, Marks has played with other notable musicians including Del McCoury, Hazel Dickens, Ola Belle Reed and Bob Doyle and the Allegheny String Band.

Other bands performing at the music tent include Rizetta’s Tones from 10:15 a.m. to noon, The Knotwork Band from 12:15 to 1 p.m. and 2:15 to 3 p.m., and Across the Pond from 1:15 to 2 p.m. and 4:15 to 5 p.m.

On the Glen Stage, the Celtic Martins play from 10 to 10:45 a.m. and 1:45 to 2:30 p.m., the Scottish Country Dancers perform from 11 to 11:45 a.m., the Coyle School of dance performs from 2:45 to 3:30 p.m., and Seasons plays from 3:45 to 4:30 p.m. The Bonny Knees contest will be from from 12:15 to 2:30 p.m.

The Quitapahilla Highlanders, a military style bagpipe and drum band from Annville, will be parading through the grounds between 9:30 and 10 a.m. and also at noon. Additional highlights include Border Colllie demonstrations at 10:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. and face painting throughout the day.

Festival goers are asked to bring chairs and blankets, and the wearing of kilts is encouraged.

Tickets for the festival are $10 with children younger than 10 admitted free.


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