Highland athletes at rest, 1984 Festival. Courtesy Celtic Society of Southern Maryland
Celtic Festival of Southern Maryland
The Celtic Festival of Southern Maryland, held in
April each year, highlights the common cultural threads interwoven
into the fabric that is the Celtic peoples. It features music,
dance and heritage of Welsh, Irish, Scots, Cornish, Breton, Manx
and English. Fiddlers, pipers, harpers and other musicians combine
with storytellers, historical reenactors, athletes and Celtic
vendors to provide a day of education and fun. Clans and other
organizations offer history, genealogy and hospitality throughout
the day. Also featured are a parade of clans; bagpipe, drum, dance,
and fiddling competitions; and children's activities. The Scottish
Heptathlon hosts events in caber, sheaf toss, and weight toss; and
there is a kilted mile run and two-mile run. In the crafts area, a
"Sheep to Shawl" demonstration shows how wool is woven into
beautiful items of clothing. Celtic hand-crafted items are offered
for sale at the Celtic Marketplace, and Celtic and regional food
are served. Very popular are the bridies--puffed pastries filled
with finely ground beef, onions, carrots, peas and potatoes.
This event, originating in 1979 and produced entirely
by volunteers from the Celtic Society of Southern Maryland, has
been held in St. Leonard, Maryland, since 1987 at the
Jefferson-Patterson Park & Museum, a 544-acre historical and
environment preserve overlooking the Patuxtent River at the site of
the War of 1812 Battle of St. Leonard's Creek. Since 1979
attendance has grown from 1,500 to almost 15,000.
Project documentation includes a 24-page narrative on
the Festival's history and events, promotional brochures and
tickets, programs for each year of the Festival back to 1979,
newspaper clippings, news releases, audio cassettes of a radio
interviews covering the 1986 and 1990 Festivals, videotapes of the
1984 and 1985 events, 40 slides with descriptions, photographs of
various sizes, and a tee-shirt.
Originally submitted by: Steny H. Hoyer, Representative (5th District).
The Local Legacies project provides a "snapshot" of American Culture as it was expressed in spring of 2000. Consequently, it is not being updated with new or revised information with the exception of "Related Website" links.