A New Celtic Festival with Highland Games is Coming to West Michigan
One of the many awesome things about West Michigan is all the fun festivals!
Well, a new festival celebrating Irish and Scottish heritage and culture is coming to West Michigan in summer 2022.
A New Celtic Festival in West Michigan
According to the Grand Rapids Business Journal, the first annual Holland Waterfront Celtic Festival & Highland Games is June 24, 7 to 11p.m. and Saturday, June 25, 9a.m. to 8p.m. at Window On The Waterfront in Holland.
You can enjoy Irish and Scottish music and dance performances, food, vendors - and watch (or participate in!) Highland Games. Festival goers are encouraged to sport Celtic regalia too - so break out that kilt!
Highland Games in West Michigan
Maybe you've seen Highland Games on TV, like The Braemar Gathering in Scotland, which is attended each year by the Royal Family.
I found a lot of good info on the history of Highland Games in in the below video!
According to Scotland.org,
It's said the Highland Games originate from Ireland in 2000 BC and that they crossed the water to Scotland with the fourth and fifth century migrations of the Scotti into Dalriada (Argyll) and beyond... The contests of strength – jumping, running, throwing and riding – were introduced by Malcolm Canmore in 1040 as a means of selecting the most able men for soldiers and couriers... Highland Games have been picked up across continents with the first Highland Games in the USA happening in New York in 1836.
The Highland Games in Holland this summer "will be comprised of all nine ancient athletic games, with men’s and women’s divisions," according to event organizers, which includes heavy rock throwing, hammer tossing, and caber tossing.
Celtic Music and Dancing
The Holland Waterfront Celtic Festival & Highland Games will begin on Friday night with Ceilidh, a traditional Scots-Irish gathering. According to GRBJ, There will be bands and a temporary pub.
Tickets for the Friday evening Ceilidh are $25 and attendees must be over 21.
Tickets for the Saturday festival are $10 for anyone ages 13 and up, kids 12 and under are free.
Scottish Clans and Irish Septs are Invited
Organizers are inviting Scottish clans and Irish septs from the U.S. and Canada to the Holland Waterfront Celtic Festival & Highland Games. Family associations can reserve a 10 X 10 space here.
According to GRBJ, attendees will be be able to about their Celtic roots and find their Scottish clan or Irish sept.
Food, Drinks, Shopping at the Holland Waterfront Celtic Festival & Highland Games
Organizers are welcoming vendors who sell Celtic clothing and accessories (including kilts, shirts, clan-wear, jewelry), Celtic crafts, textiles, leather goods, books, and more.
Food tents and trucks will serve Irish and Scottish fare like meat pies, fish and chips, shepherds pie
If you'd like to be vendor at the event, you can register here.
Holland Waterfront Celtic Festival Organizers
The Holland Waterfront Celtic Festival & Highland Games' co-founders are Craig Rich and Peter Grimm.
The organizers say on the event's website,
We recently formed the Holland Celtic Society to celebrate our Irish, Scottish, Welsh and other Celtic roots. We’ve been marching together in Holland’s St. Patrick’s Day Parade for nearly 20 years and held a Tartan Day Dinner in 2021
Some of us have visited Irish, Scottish and other Celtic festivals around the region and thought… 'We can do this in Holland!'
They are looking for more volunteers - if you're interested, you can sign up here.