Dayton Celtic Festival

storyEvery summer since 2002, tens of thousands of visitors have converged on downtown Dayton, Ohio, to celebrate all things Celtic.

“There’s only one time in this city when you can run a 5K and then taste Irish whiskey, attend a Gaelic mass and watch high-energy Celtic-themed performers – or Irish linen and wool workers if you’re so inclined – all in the same weekend,” writes the Dayton Local, describing the Dayton Celtic Festival.

The United Irish of Dayton Inc., with the assistance of Five Rivers MetroParks, founded the annual weekend to celebrate Irish and Scottish, as well as Welsh, Breton and other Celtic cultures. The organization is also dedicated to promoting and preserving Irish culture through numerous educational and festive events, and community projects.

Admission is free at the Celtic Festival, even for the headliner concerts, and this year’s main musical acts include World Album Billboard Chart-toppers Gaelic Storm, “Celtic with an edge” band Scythian, Irish music-scene stand-outs FullSet, and County Clare’s Socks in the Frying Pan. Numerous regional dancers and musicians also keep visitors entertained on multiple stages at the RiverScape MetroPark site.

The Dayton Celtic Festival also includes a 10K and a 5 K run or walk, a Celtic bike ride, a pancake breakfast at the “Top of the Morn’n Café,” whiskey tastings featuring five of Bushmills’ single malts and special blends (tickets are available at the festival and in advance), a Gaelic-English Sunday mass, and a parade of kilts which is open to all who want to display their Celtic colours.

Last year the weekend attracted more than 80,000 people. The Dayton Celtic Festival invites you and yours to join them this July 25-27 to “saturate your senses in the sights, sounds and tastes of our Celtic heritage. Discover the magic that keeps people returning to Dayton’s Celtic Festival year after year.”