The Niagara region long ago established itself as a well-known and entertaining destination for travelers from anywhere and everywhere of all types and persuasions. Whether you love wine, craft beer, film, geology, or shopping, the region can satisfy your whim and desire with aplomb.
No way is this reality more true than in the wide variety and number of festivals that take place throughout the year. From the Ice Wine Festival held each January to the Shaw Festival that takes place from May through September, a festival in Niagara always lives up to its name, but it has a feel and rhythm unique to the region.
At the Fort George Historic Site on July 24 and 25, that same whim-satisfying experience coupled with that unique Niagara feel and rhythm will be on full display at the second annual Celtic Festival, where lovers of Celtic culture and keepers of Celtic roots come together to celebrate a remarkable tradition and heritage.
Fort George Historic Site
At first glance, it may not seem like the Fort George Historic Site would make a good setting for a festival of any kind, let alone a Celtic one, but upon closer examination, it’s actually a perfect fit. The location of the headquarters of the British Army’s Central Division during the War of 1812, it’s a perfect spot to celebrate a culture that has survived into modern times as a part of the United Kingdom. Today, the fort has been restored to its former grandeur, and the beautiful green spaces surrounding its many buildings make for an idyllic place to hold a festival.
Celtic culture is well-known and celebrated for its music, and the Celtic Festival at Fort George will feature sounds and songs in a big way. Celtic music is the traditional folk music of Ireland, Wales, Brittany, Scotland, and Galicia, and while the term is a loose one that can be applied relatively broadly, it’s marked by the use of drums, numerous types of pipes and fifes, and it’s often accompanied by Celtic dancing. At this year’s festival, hundreds of amateur and professional musicians will be in attendance, as well as the Niagara Regional Police Pipe and Drum Band, in order to create the many sounds that are needed for everyone to properly experience Celtic culture. In addition to the music and dancing, there will be a cheers tent, an event zone that’s just for kids, food vendors, Celtic wares, cabers, kilts, tartans, performances by individual pipe bands, and, of course, the mass band made up of all the musicians in attendance.
The festival starts at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, July 24, with a performance by Tartan Terrors, a premier Celtic music and dancing group that puts on an electrifying live show. Tickets to the festival are $19.
Whether you’ve always loved Celtic culture or you just need one more reason to come visit Niagara at the end of July, book a stay and spend the last weekend in July at Fort George Historic Site surrounded by bag pipes, drums, dancing, and fun.