Our amazing performers travel over hill and dale to entertain us. Enjoy dozens of performances and activities all around the Festival grounds. Here's a look at our 2018 performers:
Main Stage - 4:30pm-6:00pm
Local favorites from down the mountain in Cumberland, Maryland, Shanty Irish play traditional Irish pub tunes that will immediately get you on your feet. They spill off the stage with nine bandmates on instruments as varied as the bodhran, pipes, harmonica, and whistle. They've been playing centuries old pub songs that tell tales of fighting and revolution, love, and the wonders of poitin and porter (whisky and beer) for more than 16 years together. We are glad to welcome them back to the Celtic Festival stage! shantyirish.org
Main Stage - 2:30pm-4:00pm
Hickory Wind’s fusion of various traditional Appalachian and Celtic musical forms over (and under) rock rhythms and fills got them all the way to opening for some of the best known acts of the time including Steely Dan, John Prine, the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Emmylou Harris, and Jackson Brown. Founded by West Virginia University students in 1973 in Morgantown, West Virginia, the band would go on to tour nationally in 30 American states and internationally to 20 countries in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, recording three very favorably reviewed albums along the way and appearances on programs like West Virginia Public Radio's Mountain Stage. A fourth album was released in 2009 of their last live performance in Baltimore. Their appearance at the 2018 Garrett County Celtic Festival will be a reunion for the band! Bob Shank will also be on the Village Stage sharing more on the influence of Celtic instruments in Appalachia.
Main Stage - 11:00am-12:00pm
IONA's music is a unique, acoustic weave of the traditional music of Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Cornwall, Brittany (France), the Isle of Man, Asturies and Galicia (Spain). Blending songs, dance tunes, and aires into a rich and stunning tapestry, their style is outstanding in an arena where these traditions are seldom intertwined. Conceived in 1986, IONA was the musical offspring of lead singer, bouzouki, guitar and bodhrán player Barbara Ryan and wind section, Bernard Argent. With fiddler Jim Queen (banjo and vocals as well) and bass guitar player Chuck Lawhorn, IONA has become the leading Celtic group in the Mid-Atlantic region. ionamusic.com
IONA will also present an up close and personal talk with the audience on the Village Stage at 2:00.
Main Stage - 12:30-2:00pm
From the hills of West Virginia, Aurora Celtic plays evocative, original and traditional music for guitar, fiddle, Irish flute, whistle, mandolin and tenor banjo that bridges the cultures of Scotland, Ireland and Appalachia. Band members Alice Fleischman, Michael Broderick, Chris Bern and Jake Pitzer are multi-instrumentalists who have played throughout the Mid-Atlantic states, at the Kennedy Center and in Europe. Their music has twice been featured on NPR’s Thistle & Shamrock music program. Their newest album was released in 2017. auroracelticmusic.com
Presented by Demaree Inflatable Boats
Shamrock Room Stage - 2:00pm-2:50pm and 4:00pm-4:50pm
Greg performs an eclectic mix of carefully chosen Irish, traditional and contemporary folk, Broadway, bluegrass, and original music. He is a two-time recipient of an Individual Artist Award in Solo Musical Performance from the Maryland State Arts Council. His performances at the Celtic Festival will be on Irish Uillean pipes, Northumbrian Pipes (Scottish Border) and bouzouki. website
Lynne Dale & Avalon Folmsbee
Shamrock Room Stage - 11:00am-11:50am and 3:00pm-3:50pm
Local Celtic harp duo that will transport you to another world with their ethereal sound.
Duffy School of Irish Dance
Dance Stage - 11:00 and 2:00
Young dancers from The Duffy School of Irish Dance from Gaithersburg, Maryland will make you want to kick your heels up! Founded in 2007, the school is dedicated to sharing the culture, art, and athleticism of Irish dance. website
Potomac Highlands Scottish Country Dancers
Dance Stage - 1:00
Social dancers based in Cumberland, Maryland perform the lively "ballroom dancing of Scotland," originating in the 18th Century.
Great Highland Pipes & Drums
A parade of regional Highland Pipes and Drums bands, hosted by the Garrett Highlands Pipes & Drums of Oakland, MD OVFD, will converge at noon for the Gathering on the Village Green, then play in various locations around the park. 2017 Gathering of Pipes and Drums
St. Andrews Pipes and Drums . West Virginia Highlanders
Macdonald Pipes and Drums . Jaffa Highlanders
Great Highland Athletes
Watch athletic contests on The Village Green in the morning until the 12pm Gathering. Following the Gathering, the athletes will hold their featured contest with descriptions of the age-old competitions. Children ages 6-12 are welcome to participate in the Rainbow's End Children's Highland Games in the Rainbow's End activities area. Registration is between 11am and closes at 1pm.
Invited guests and their humans will be available to show and talk about their dogs' historic breeds.
Storytelling & Celtic History on the Village Stage
"The Jacobite Risings" and "Scottish Immgration to America" by John Miles
"History of Welsh in the Region" by Ina Hicks, sponsored by Vision Quest Studios
"The Many Faces of Celtic Spirituality" by Judith Clister
Readings from authors Patricia Hopper Patteson and Laura Treacy Bentley
Rainbow's End Children's Area
- Craft stations are open from 11:00am to 5:00pm where children of all ages can make crowns, headpieces, costumes, make an elf garden, and even learn how to make a kilt. Crafts are free with festival admission.
- Birds of Prey will come to visit from Deep Creek Lake State Park's Discovery Center at 1pm.
- Plan to participate in Children's Highland Games (ages 6 to 12): toss the caber, hurl the haggis, help your team win the tug of war.
- Listen to the tales and tunes from ancient Scottish and Irish sacred sites: pirates, fairies, and Gaelic song.
Glen of Clans & Living History Units
Visit an encampment of different families flying their family tartan and learn about the Celtic way of life in the old country, invluding re-enactors from the 16th century to World War I. Tents will be set up in the Celtic Village throughout the Festival.