The big summer Celtic fests, including Hunter Mountain’s annual thousand-piper march in August, draw big crowds. But there’s something that seems fittingly matched among the current burnishing of the green into a rising tapestry of autumnal color, the moodiness of the sky and the deepening chill of the weather that makes Sunday’s Celtic Day in the Park at the Staatsburgh State Historic Site an event not to miss.
In its 27th outing, the daylong event on September 30, set to run from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., will feature five bagpipe bands performing throughout the day, music by the Brigadoons Show Band, the MaCanna Band, Carl Peterson and Adrian O’Leary, plus plenty of step dancing from the Braemar Dancers, the Joanie Mac Irish Dancers and the Solas an Lae School of Irish Dance.
Kids will be entertained with face-painting, storytelling, “pennies in the hay,” fencing matches and sheep-herding demonstrations, as well as a host of hairy animals, from Clydesdales to llamas and adoptable dogs. At festival’s close, all march and play as one. Oh yes, there’s also a Bonniest Knees contest, where gentlemen in kilts show off their gams before a panel of judges, along with such Highland Games as the Haggis Hurl and Tossing of the Caber.
The Staatsburgh State Historic Site is located on Old Post Road in Staatsburg. The event will take place rain or shine behind the beautiful Gilded Age mansion formerly occupied by the Mills family.
The 27th annual Celtic Day in the Park runs from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the Mills Mansion and Staatsburgh State Historic Site in Staatsburgh, off Route 9 between Rhinebeck and Hyde Park. Admission is $12 per person, but free for all under the age of 12. For more information call (845) 889-8851 or visit www.nysparks.org.