Weekend Festival To Give Cultural Insight For Visitors

The 96th Highlanders Pipe Band Performs at a past festival. Submitted photo

MAYVILLE — More than 5,000 people are expected to attend the 13th annual Jamestown Regional Celtic Festival, which will decorate Mayville Lakeside Park on Friday and Saturday with the clothing, music, games and heritage of Irish, Scottish and Welsh families.

Doug Clark, event organizer, predicts that the turnout will be greater than what it was last year.

The event, also dubbed the “Gathering of the Clans,” will kick off with a performance by The Town Pants on Friday from 6-9:30 p.m. The Celtic Festival will continue Saturday beginning at 9 a.m. A celebration will fill the air with music from 6-9:30 p.m. as well.

Traditional music is expected to fill the entire Saturday lineup. Clark detailed a rundown of pipe bands that will lead into Celtic rock later in the evening. Eight pipe bands will parade in the morning and afternoon. All pipe performers will then come together to form a mass band of 100 pipers and 50 drummers at noon and 5 p.m.

Other musical talent will include Cleveland-based band Ballinloch, Niagara Falls-based band Limerick, Buffalo-based band Penny Whiskey, Celtic rock band McCarthyizm, Celtic Creek duo of Jim and Beth McQuiston and the musical duo of Sue Tillotson and Jim Cunningham.

Clark said tents around the park will showcase Scottish dancers and 24 clans, featuring the heritage of many families. Clark said each tent will provide a genealogy lesson.

The Audrey Watkins Highland Dancers will also be performing. Other festival features include a beer and wine garden, approximately 30 vendors selling Celtic wares and crafts and food vendors selling hot dogs, deep fried fish, Scottish meat pies, chicken barbeque, Italian sausages, cheesesteaks and more.

“You really got to go to a Scottish festival to see how it’s all laid out,” Clark urged.

Other entertainment will provided by a Celtic puppeteer out of Rochester and the Buffalo Heavy Athletic Club, which will have its 50 competitors toss telephone poles, throw long-distance and show off their strength across six events. The club will be competing to break several world records in their events.

A Scottish auction will also be hosted. Various items are being donated from the clans and vendors in attendance, and all proceeds from the auction will be used in a scholarship fund.

Fourteen scholarships will be awarded to Chautauqua County youth going to college to study music.

Clark said this festival is the best way to get to know about the seven nations of the Celtic world. Saturday donations of $10 for adults and $8 for senior citizens are required. Children 13 and younger get in free.