According to Winston Churchill, the Irish were always a little bit odd. “They simply refuse to be English,” he said. At Hunter Mountain’s International Celtic Festival this Saturday and Sunday, August 18 and 19, festivalgoers can celebrate the Irish insistence on being true to itself in its own inimitable way through live Irish music and dance, bagpipes and drummers, traditional Irish fare and beverages.
There will even be a Catholic Mass conducted at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday by Father Francis Pizzarelli of Hope House Ministries, accompanied musically by the Andy Cooney Band.
Sunday will also feature a bagpipe competition, with judges provided by the Eastern US Pipe Band Association (EUSPBA), a non-profit group dedicated to improving all aspects of solo and band bagpipe and drums music.
Following the competition, the participants will join an impressive array of hundreds of bagpipers and drummers performing in unison in a Mass March down the mountainside. For a taste of what this spectacle has to offer, check out the videos of the Mass March available on YouTube, posted by festivalgoers of previous years, at www.youtube.com/watch?v=VmTFOTc2dVI&feature=related.
Since you couldn’t have a Celtic Festival without live Irish music, there’ll be plenty of that on tap. Scheduled to perform are Black 47 (Celtic-influenced rock with a political/social message); Frankie Gavin (“the prince of Irish fiddlers”); Shilelagh Law (Irish music New York-style); the Andy Cooney Band (soulful vocals); Cray and Dempsey (a duo with comedic aspects); Seamus Kennedy (varied repertoire including country & Western influences and songs for kids); the Canny Brothers Band (a spirited Brooklyn-based group); the Fighting Jamesons (traditional style with a modern approach); Penny Whiskey (acoustic bluegrass and folk); Jameson’s Revenge (a spontaneous take on the traditional); Emish (“high-powered rock with Irish heart”); and the Callanach Band (Celtic rock). Also performing will be the Donny Golden Dancers, Capital Irish Dance and Firefighter McPadden Pipes and Drums.
Dozens of vendors will be on hand offering traditional Irish food and beverages, and on Saturday night, the Festival will be capped off with a display of fireworks at 10 p.m. The kids will have their own area, too, with a tent featuring a wildlife show, puppet shows, jugglers and more. Pets are not permitted on the festival grounds.
Admission to the International Celtic Festival is $16 for adults; those age 12 and under get in free. Group rates are available, as are discounts for advance purchase online. For a full schedule of entertainment and more information, visit www.huntermtn.com or call (800) 486-8376.
The International Celtic Festival takes place at Hunter Mountain this Saturday and Sunday, August 18 and 19. The first entertainment on Saturday is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. and continues until 10 p.m. when fireworks close out the day. On Sunday, a Catholic Mass at 10:30 a.m. opens the Festival with the last entertainment scheduled to begin at 9 p.m. The cost is $16 for adults over age 13; kids under age 12 get in free. A discount is available with advance purchase online. No pets are allowed on the grounds. Entertainment will include live music, dancing, a bagpipe competition, bagpipe and drum march, Irish food and beverages and a Kids’ Tent featuring a wildlife show, puppet show, jugglers and more. For a full schedule of entertainment and more information, visit www.huntermtn.com or call (800) 486-8376.