MAYVILLE - If you've gotten used to attending the Jamestown Regional Celtic Festival each August at Jamestown Community College, don't be alarmed to hear that it won't be there this year.
To get your fill of Celtic music, food, sports and culture this year, you'll just need to make your way to the other end of Chautauqua Lake to Lakeside Park in Mayville.
The fifth annual Celtic Festival will take place there Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m., and event organizer Doug Clark says this year's event is gearing up to be the biggest yet.
A participant competes in the hammer throw during the sporting portion of a past year’s Jamestown Regional Celtic Festival. This year’s festival will be held Saturday from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. at Lakeside Park in Mayville.
''For Chautauqua County to have a festival like this, it's going to be a big boom for the industry,'' he said.
The event was displaced from JCC because of the construction of the new science center at the college. Clark said that despite the move, he is expecting a crowd of between 1,000 and 2,000 visitors to flock to Mayville for the festival, which will have more music this year than ever.
''We've expanded from four pipe bands to seven, from two Celtic groups to four,'' he said.
Artists performing at the festival will include Step-In-Time, a duo from Youngstown, N.Y.; Celtic Creek, a duo from Warren, Pa.; the Celtic Hooligans, a band from Erie, Pa.; and Lochside Celtic Band, a six-piece ceilidh band from Niagara Falls, N.Y. Joining the hometown 96th Highlanders of Jamestown at the festival will be pipe bands from as far away as Erie, Cleveland and Ontario.
Seven to 10 Celtic clans are scheduled to attend the event this year as well, Clark said, representing the heritage of the festival. Clark said that number has grown from past years, and he is hoping that it continues to expand.
''We want 20 - we'd like to have 100, but I don't think I'll ever be able to get them,'' he said.
New this year to the Celtic Festival will be a kids' area, featuring a 18-by-32-foot pirate ship bounce house and a 55-foot train. It's just the latest addition to a festival that has grown in each of its five years of existence, Clark said.
''Every year, I try to add some new features,'' he said. ''Our festival has become one of the fastest-growing and the largest within a 100-mile radius.''
The Scottish Heavy Athletics competition is sure to entertain as well, bringing challengers in from far and wide to take part in a litany of events including the hammer throw, stone toss and caber toss.
''Normally at a festival they only do five events, but at ours they do nine - and they like it,'' Clark said. ''In the first year we had two competitors, and this year we'll have more than 15 amateur and master-level competitors.''
Numerous food vendors will also be on site throughout the day, providing food ranging from the traditional corned beef and cabbage to the more pedestrian hot dogs and French fries.
''We're catering to everybody, that's what we're trying to do,'' Clark said.
Admission to the Jamestown Regional Celtic Festival is $8, with children 12 and under admitted free. Tickets will be available at the gates. For more information about the festival, visit www.96thhighlanders.com/festival.html.