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Celtic Festival returns to Mayville August 26

August 18, 2016
By David Prenatt - , Westfield Republican

If you hear the pipes a'calling, it could mean you need to attend the 11th annual Celtic Festival and Gathering of the Clans on Aug. 26 at Mayville Lakeside Park.

The event, which has grown steadily since its inception in 2005, will feature all facets of Celtic heritage, including sports such as the caber and hammer toss, piping, Celtic music, dancing and Celtic vendors.

According to the website for the 2016 festival, 40 clans and societies have already registered to be present with more coming in daily. This year's gathering also features 10 pipe bands, 9 Celtic bands, 30 heavy athletes, and at least 30 authentic Celtic vendors. It is noted to be the largest gathering of pipe bands in Western New York and Northeastern Pennsylvania.

Article Photos

Photo by Doug Clark
The Celtic Festival and Gathering of the Clans in Mayville features many aspects of Celtic heritage.

The event was not always so large, said organizer Doug Clark. The first festival came about in 2005, organized by Clark and William McLaughlin. Clark had played in the 96th Highlanders Pipes and Drums band for many years when the idea came to him, he said.

"We were playing in Amherst and I called Mac (McLaughlin) and said: 'Why can't we do this in Jamestown?'" Clark said. "We got together four clans, four pipe bands, some dancers and some vendors and we had our first festival."

The response was terrific, Clark said. The festival has grown each year since. People come from all over, including Alaska, California, New Jersey, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania, as well as from Canada. "We get a lot from Canada," he said.

Many people come to the festival dressed in Celtic attire, such as tartans and kilts, Clark said. The members of the clans all come in authentic dress.

All of the clans come with genealogy books to help visitors determine if they belong. Clark said. But they will ask a lot of questions to make sure the results are accurate, he said. "They are pretty honest. They won't sign you up unless they are pretty sure you belong to that clan.If they don't think you belong to their clan, they will try to direct you to the proper clan."

Clark said the festival serves to teach people about the Irish and Scottish history in this country. But it is especially a chance to have fun.

"People get to listen to authentic Celtic music and eat Celtic food and just have a good time," he said.

The festival is open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults and $8.00 for senior citizens. Children 13 and under are free.



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