SALINE, MI – Mill Pond Park will once again be filled with Celtic music, kilts and bagpipes for the annual Saline Celtic Festival.
This year’s festival, July 8-9 at 565 W. Bennett St., marks the event’s 25th anniversary, as well as its return following the COVID-19 pandemic.
The festival is expecting a higher turnout this year compared to the typical 3,000 to 3,500 people it sees on day two, said Saline Celtic Festival secretary Katherine Downie.
Those who attend can expect the festival to generally deliver with a few bonuses, such as a bigger stage for performances, new food vendors, and a few different beers.
“It’s good for us to be able to come back together because it’s a celebration of our sister city relationship with Brecon, Wales, as well as the Celtic history in that area,” Downie said. “It feels good to do something normal again.”
The two-day festival opens at 4 p.m. on Friday, July 8, with events starting at 6 p.m. The park will feature musical performances by different artists like Ironwood, The Codgers and The Phoenix Theory, as well as other events and workshops.
Saturday, July 9 events begin at 10 a.m. Attendees can expect a variety of entertainment, such as highland dancing competition, sheep herding, jousting, textile demonstrations, bagpipes and more.
The music will include performances by The Moxie Strings, Nessa, Brother Crowe, Crossbow and the Saline Fiddlers.
Other Saturday events include Wee Folks Island, an event that allows children to participate in free activities ranging from arts and crafts to story time with a Scottish princess.
There will also be Ancient Athletics, where participants can sign up to compete and continue the Celtic tradition of highland games.
Both days will also have Celtic and local merchants selling different goods like clothing, jewelry and pottery.
With the festival’s variety of events, Downie said everyone is welcome to enjoy what it has to offer.
“The festival really aims to be open to everyone, regardless of their cultural background,” she said. “There’s so much that anyone, regardless of background, could find something they like.”
Tickets for Saturday July 9 can be purchased online or in person, while tickets for Friday July 8 can only be purchased at the door.
Tickets for Friday, July 8 are available at the door only and cost $8 for adults and $5 for ages 6-17. Tickets for Saturday, July 9 are $15 online or $18 at the door for adults, $8 online or $10 at the door for ages 65 and older, $5 online or at the door for adults. 6 to 17 years old and free for 5 years old and under.
There is no parking at the festival. Instead, free parking and shuttles are available at Saline Middle School, 7190 N. Maple Road, and Liberty School, 7265 N. Ann Arbor St.
Downie said the decision to cancel the festival over the past two years was difficult, but she is looking forward to seeing its outcome in July.
“We really pride ourselves on trying to make sure everyone has a good time, so I’m thrilled to be able to do it again and put a smile on people’s faces after a really tough couple of years,” she said.
Those interested in learning more can visit the festival’s website or visit the event’s Facebook page.
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