Celtic culture celebrated in the
Blackstone Valley!

Tulach Ard Pipe Band Opening Ceremony
Tulach Árd Pipe Band opening ceremony
(Photo: Ernest Black - Enlarge)

The day opened with Mary McInerney dancers followed by the Tulach Árd Pipe Band playing an amazing set on bagpipes and drum. Performers appearing on our main stage to charm and thrill the audience were Cherish the Ladies, the Glengarry Bhoys, Pendragon, and in a rare set together, first cousins Robbie O'Connell and Aofie Clancy. Sets continued

Miss Worcester Dance based on Riverdance
Miss Worcester performing her original dance inspired by Riverdance
(Photo: Ernest Black - Enlarge)

throughout the day, with most performers appearing twice and Robbie and Aoife playing one long set. In between sets the Mary McInerney Irish Step Dancers and Callanish School of Celtic Arts dancers entertained on the adjacent side stage, and one field over on the Blackstone Stage performers included Carlson & MacLeod, Charlie Zahm, FiddleKids of Worcester, Heather Cole-Mullen and Friends, Rù-Rà and Tarot by Christiana.


Aoife Clancy singing a Celtic ballad
Aoife Clancy performs a haunting Irish ballad
(Photo: Ernest Black - Enlarge)

Heritage was in evidence throughout the Festival, from vendors of Celtic arts and crafts and traditional food, Celtic tea and beer, to Celtic Falconry, the Renaissance Faire, Higgins Armory, Sheepherding demonstration with border collies, and the popular Men-in-Kilts contest. Kids had ample options for fun and games, including St Andrews miniature golf, soccer, King Arthur's Court games, and much more. The threatening weather courtesy of tropical storm Cindy had lifted well before opening, and though the fields were damp to start, the day unfolded to beautiful sunshine. A short cloudburst in late afternoon gave, as Charlie Zahm noted, an authentic Celtic feel, and was followed by a rainbow.

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