Thank you so much for making 2023 our best festival ever! We had a few growing pains, but you all showed up and we are so excited at the reception of our new space/offerings! We're more excited than ever for 2024!!
Did you miss this year's festival?
July 12-13, 2024
2023 Saline Celtic Festival: Something for Everyone!
Festival Friday July 7, 2023: a fun evening for the family!
Friday at the Festival was all about having fun - Brother Crowe, Whorled & McSpillin will provided the high energy entertainment in the Beer Garden where the Michigan craft beer, wine, cider and—new this year! —mead flowed. The food was cooking, the forge was fired up, the jousters were jousting, and the merchants were selling.
Thank you to our generous 2023 sponsors - we couldn't have done it without you!
Saturday, July 8, 2023: All Day Festival Fun!
It all started with the Parade to the Opening Ceremony - massed Pipes & Drums Bands lead a parade of the Mighty Clans, athletes, fairies & unicorns and corgis to the Opening Ceremony on the Red Dragon Stage. Following the ceremony - the real fun begins when the Saline Fiddlers take the stage! Find the full schedule here.
Celtic Bands & Dance performances will alternate between the Red Dragon and Brecon stages all day and all evening. A wide range of bands and dance troupes will keep your toes tapping, your hands clapping, and your Celtic spirits high!
The Celtic Festival is proud to host Ancient Athletics for our annual Highland Games. You will see athletes from all across the Midwest competing in the stone throw, weight for distance and over-the-bar, sheaf toss, heavy hammer throw and caber toss.
Wee Folk Fun is a kid's area like no other! Kids (accompanied by their parents) can participate in activities ranging from free arts and crafts, free games, and ducky races. And all of it is free!! The creative afternoon finishes off with a Wee Folks Parade through the Festival Grounds accompanied by a bagpiper at 4:30pm! Each year features new ideas and adventures for our Wee Ones!
Pipes & Drums Bands - Several pipe & drum bands perform at the Celtic Festival. These bands represent the best in Michigan and generally place in the top positions in local competitions such as the games at Alma, MI and the St. Andrew’s games in Livonia, MI.
Dancers from all over the Midwest and Canada compete in our Highland Dance Competition, a sanctioned premier event offering trophies and cash prizes. It's free to watch these talented dancers but if you're going to compete, you need to register.
Master weavers give demonstrations throughout the day in our Textiles area. The presentations change from year to year, but may include weaving, indigo dying, waulking, spinning, and more! Best of all, they're a fun group guaranteed to give you plenty of info and laughs!
If you enjoy traditional food, then you're going to love Millie's Grill! Vintage House will be serving up the traditional foods including their award-winning corned beef, Irish stew and other culinary delights. There will be ice cream and hot dogs, pizza and cookies, and kabobs and slushies available on the food court.
On Thursday, ahead of the actual festival in the Jousting Arena there will be a Mounted Law Enforcement Competition, free to watch, that consists of negotiating obstacles, working as a team, drill, and exhibit an ability to maneuver their horse.
On Friday evening equestrian competition continues in the Jousting Arena with a Historic Competition that will consist of equestrians exhibiting their abilities with swords, old time firearms (blanks), jumping, and horse maneuvers. Saturday's all-day festival offers the traditional Contact Jousting Competition, with knights in armor re-enacting this exciting medieval martial sport.
More music and dance Workshops are offered throughout the day on Saturday. Workshops include Tin Whistle, Traditional Singing, Bodhran Drum, Fiddle, Step Dancing, Contra Dancing, Ceili Dance, Music Sessions, and "Try an Instrument" Workshops. They're led by local experts in their fields and are open to beginner through advanced-level participants! Try one or many, and bring your own instruments to learn more about how they work. Workshops are made possible in part by AACTMAD and DIMA.
A leprechaun, two unicorns, some fairies, a princess and a stormtrooper walk into a festival...
With just a whistle, Jim Valley lets his Sheepherding Dogs know where to put the sheep!
One of our most popular attractions, Ring of Steel's Cirque Surya (sir-ka sir-ya) is returning this year! This collective of circus enthusiasts showcasing sword skills, aerial acrobatics, fire dancers and fun stage performances throughout the day.
Several groups of creative historic creative reenactors encamp at the Festival each year exhibiting traditional Celtic Weaponry and Fencing Demonstrations. Visit with Vikings, Templars, and Knights and learn an ancient skill or two.
Love to shop? We've got you covered - at the Marketplace you'll find kilts, t-shirts, jewelry, housewares and traditional Welsh cookies. In the Maker's Alley You'll find area independent makers & creators of fiber arts, ceramics, art prints, custom dice, jewelry, pastries and more.
The Stables - Get to know the jousters and their steeds as well as a few guest Celtic breeds.
Several blacksmiths from Bodtker Ironworks will be pounding away creating custom knives and decor and offering kids the opportunity to forge a memory while making their own take home item. Jerik Glass/AriWear will be nearby creating blown glass sculpture and offering kids' give-away drawings throughout the day.
In the parking field we will be hosting rugby games - 8 teams will be playing, 4 women's: Ypsi Rugby, Lansing Rugby, Toledo Celtics, and Detroit Daddies; and 4 men's: Ypsi Rugby, Flint Tropics, Space Jamaican Unicorns, and Detroit Rugby. Rugby starts at noon - come and go through the front gate, just remember to get your hand stamped.
Grab a passport at the front gate for the kids and wander over to visit the Mighty Clans where you can learn about each clan's history and meet real clan members (and sometimes their dogs.) Learn about your Celtic heritage at the Surnames tent where genealogists will help you track your pedigree.
We are thrilled to be able to host area service & community groups this year. You'll find the Community Showcase in the local Maker's Alley.
We're in the News! See what they're saying about the 2023 Saline Celtic Festival!