Area clans gather for 25th annual Celtic Festival

Sue Guinn Legg • Sep 22, 2017 at 10:08 PM

The community is invited to join in a gathering of clans for the 25th annual Upper East Tennessee Celtic Festival today (Saturday, Sept. 23) from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. at Tipton-Haynes State Historic Site on South Roan Street.

Traditional Celtic athletic competitions will begin at 11 a.m. and continue through 6 p.m in the meadow below the Tipton-Haynes barns.

Handmade craft sales, traditional musical performances, primitive combat demonstrations, fun and educational activities for children and individual clan tents will be available throughout the day.

And the festival will conclude with an evening concert featuring The Jacobites by Name, the Tom Eure band and other traditional Celtic musicians to start at 6.

On the athletic fields, the year’s festival will provide a backdrop for the Tennessee Heavy Athletics Southeastern Championship featuring top competitors from the annual Highlands Games at Grandfather Mountain.

Events will include the caber toss, the stone put, the Scottish hammer throw, the weight throw, the sheaf toss and others in men, women and youth divisions.

In the festival area, Jonas Mitchell and Josh Laws of the Historical European Martial Arts Team will be demonstrating traditional Scottish broadsword martial arts.

Judd Grindstaff and Ravens Wodin will present primitive combat demonstrations. And King Ken will be demonstrating and give instruction in archery, battle axe and spear throw and other ancient Celtic battle techniques.

Celtic harpist and vocalist Sandra Parker will be performing throughout the day in the Tipton-Haynes Museum. And music educator Martha Egan will be playing and giving lessons on the Irish Tin Pennywhistle.

In the children’s area, kids of all ages will be entertained and invited to dance along with Jillian the Hula Hoop Girl and The Belly Dancers and given a chance to take part in the traditional Celtic competitions.

“We’ll have a lot of fun things for kids but they will be learning some things too,” UETCS President Tim Morris said. “It’ a fun day and an educational day for the whole family.”

Festival admission is $7 per person or $6 with the donation of a canned food item, and free for children age 12 and under. Admission for the evening concert is $12.

For more information about the festival or the society, visit uppereasttncelticsociety.org.

Email Sue Guinn Legg at [email protected]. Follow her on Twitter @sueleggjcpress. Like her on Facebook at facebook.com/sueleggjcpress.

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