Ah yes, Celticfest (or Celtic Classic, whichever you prefer)…the smaller, kilted festival that spans a weekend rather than a week. This year’s festival drew over 250,000 people to Bethlehem’s sacred festival grounds for a weekend of green clothes, beer, music, and throwing big objects.
Celtic Fest hasn’t had good luck in the past few years, first being flooded out then on the verge of cancellation. Luckily with rallying support from the mayor, a kilt-laden drunken pub crawl, and a lot of volunteers later, this year marked the most successful festivals in the past couple years. The Celtic Cultural Alliance always brings in great performers from around the globe, the favorite of mine being Seamus Kennedy, who loves cracking jokes on the Scots and sings some damn fine Irish drinking songs. I don’t usually stick around to watch the games and such but I found myself with an excess of time and ended up attending every day of the festival. The caber toss, weight throws, and sheaf throws were pretty interesting.
Food and drink-wise? I had a few O’haras (still bitter that they don’t have Guinness) and tried my first haggis. I got it done up in a pastry so it was a sort of haggis pie. Haggis, if you’re not versed, contains hearts, livers, lungs, and meat from lambs. It had an odd taste…not necessary gamey, just…different. Not sure how to describe it. I also bought an Irish stew, which I was miffed to find out was actually Dinty Moore beef stew. $6 for a cup of which you can get a 15 oz can for $1.80. How do I know it was Dinty Moore? I’ve been eating the stuff while hiking my entire life. If it wasn’t Dinty Moore then Hormel should sue their asses for stealing and copying the recipe. Bastards.
One thing that I do have to give major props to here is the CCA for their use of social media during the festival this year. Not only did they have a web-based app for Andriod and iPhones that came crazily in handy, but they used Twitter and Facebook to give away prizes throughout the entire weekend. From free beer and mugs to free hats and free CDs, they really got the gist of what social media is all about. Also, making people look like asses by requiring them to do a jig before they collect their beer is hilarious. I collected a hat, a mug, a free beer, and a CD throughout the weekend thanks to their promotions. Hopefully they’ll do an actual app rather than a web based one, but this year was an awesome start. Musikfest, your move.
Anyways, enough rambling. Here’s some photos from the event. Be sure to check it out next year, it’s a pretty fun time and is free to walk around!