The 24th annual Celtic Classic highland games & festival is set for September 23-25 in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Presented by the nonprofit Celtic Cultural Alliance, the free event is a celebration of the Irish, Scottish and Welsh cultures and heritage and will feature four stages of continuous entertainment.Artists slated to perform are Blackwater, Burning Bridget Cleary, Jil Chamblis & Scooter Muse, Comas, Emish, Girsa, Ontario’s The Glengarry Bhoys, The Jameson Sisters, Seamus Kennedy, David Kincaid, Makem & Spain Brothers, Paul McKenna Band, McPeake, Mick Moloney, Screaming Orphans, Solas (in a special ticketed concert), Timlin & Kane, and button accordionist John Whelan. Other musical attractions during the weekend include pipe band, fiddle and drum major competitions and an open Celtic music seisun. Irish and Highland dancers also will take part in the festivities.
North America’s largest highland games take place during the Celtic Classic. The U.S. National Highland Athletic Championships will include the lifting of heavy stone, throwing a 22-pound hammer, and tossing of the caber. Border collie exhibitions, a “Showing of the Tartan” parade, a haggis eating contest, a whiskey tasting event, a kids craft tent, clan tents, and a Celtic marketplace featuring crafts, merchandise and collectibles also are on tap.
The festival grounds are located along the banks of Monocracy Creek and adjacent to downtown Bethlehem’s Main Street shopping area. More information on one of the most popular events in northeastern Pennsylvania’s Lehigh Valley, including daily schedules, may be found at www.celticfest.org.