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April, 2015:

the celtic society of southern maryland festival

So, as I mentioned last week, this past Saturday, 25 April, was the festival day for the Celtic Society of Southern Maryland. I’ve been a part of this event since 2007 (this one was my 9th!), and I’ve seen every type of weather over the years. One year, it was so hot, that everyone was looking for any bit of shade to escape the heat. This year, we were all freezing.

The festival coordinators keep moving us fiddlers around a bit, looking for the perfect location at the festival. This year, they put us in a tent…just across from a very active and loud power generator. One of the fiddlers mentioned that the generator was droning on, in an out-of-tune cycle of “B” major–of course, most of the tunes wouldn’t harmonize with that at all.

I think the cold kept the competitors at bay as well, for we had only a small group of five. None-the-less, those five treated us to some fine scottish-style fiddling, and, for my part as steward, I was glad to help out for the morning.

After that, I sampled the music from the many, many stages around the festival, and I also sampled the beer from the many, many vendors around the festival. In both instances, there were far too many choices to take them all in, but I gave it a good try.

If you were there, I hope you had a grand time; if not, I hope to see you there next year.

what’s coming up, 25 april

So, what’s coming up this weekend, 25 April ?

It’s the annual Celtic Festival sponsored by the Celtic Society of Southern Maryland.

I’ve been to a lot of these events, over the years, and this is one of the best ones in the east coast, mid-Atlantic region. It’s a one day event – Saturday only, but it lasts all day, morning ’til night; rain or shine.

What I like about this particular event is that it makes great effort to have examples from all aspects of Irish and Scottish culture. For example, the festival has many vendors selling celtic-culture-inspired crafts; it has a wide selection of food and beer for sale; and it has several stages with non-stop music from about 11:00 am until 6:00 pm. Beyond those offerings, plenty of music and dance competitions happen early in the day.

If music and shopping aren’t your thing, the festival also hosts a rugby tournament AND — of course — the Highland games, featuring traditional Scottish sporting events.

For my part, I’ll be assisting with the Scottish-Style Fiddling competition, which begins at 10:00 am (registration for competitors begins at 9:00, if they haven’t registered ahead of time). The competition ends by about 12:30 or 1:00, after which I’ll be heading out to the general festival to listen to some pipe bands, drink a few pints, and maybe play a a few fiddle tunes at an impromptu session.

Maybe I’ll see you there!