By: Suezen Mendenhall Brown
CelticFest Mississippi has been a staple in the Jackson metro area for 30 years. After the cancellation in 2020, the board made the decision to move from our original venue which had multiple indoor buildings, to Lakeshore Park on the Barnett Reservoir so that we would be completely outside. The 23-acre location is absolutely perfect for hosting a festival and we are pleased to be introducing it to our long time attendees and new friends.
CelticFest Mississippi has always maintained a traditional music only format and we’re proud to be known as a musician’s fest. We’ve hosted many amazing performers from all over the world and are fortunate to have been able to book A Cherished Few this year, made up of members from internationally acclaimed band, Cherish the Ladies featuring Joanie Madden, Mary Coogan and Mirella Murray with Bruce Foley. We’re beyond excited to have them headline this year’s festival. We’ll have three music stages and a dance stage plus free heritage, dance and music workshops. Our Irish Feis Dance competition will also include categories for Celtic Baking, Art, Vocal and Music, which are all open to anyone and all instruments.
Great Celtic events
We’re fortunate to have a working Highland Cattle farm right here in Brandon, Mississippi and so we’ll have some beauties from Cool Creek Highlands here all weekend. Our Heavy Athletics events this year include some of the best Pro Men & Women competing on Saturday with amateur classes with athletes from all over the country coming in on Sunday. The Elite Women’s Invitational Championship is going to be outstanding with several record holders competing. We’ll have exhibition games of Hurling, the Irish national sport, and Gaelic football brought to us by members of the Memphis Gaelic Athletics Association and the Little Rock Gaelic Athletics Club. We don’t have a league yet in Mississippi but we’re hoping to get people excited about that this year and get one formed.
We’ll be hosting a free kick-off event at The Black Axes Throwing Club in Brandon on Friday evening with music from some of our artists plus we’ll be holding one of two Kindred Spirits Scotch & Whiskey Tastings also on Friday night at The Rickhouse by Manship Event space in the historic Belhaven neighborhood in Jackson. Our second tasting will be at the festival on Saturday evening. We’ll finish out Saturday night with our famous Céilí Mór- a giant social dance led by our two dance masters, Jackie O’Riley & Rebecca McGowan. We’re going to adjust the céilí this year to be hands free and it should be a great time. Sunday will kick off with a special Celtic Worship Service and finish out with a finale on our Water’s Edge Main Stage. Our Host Hotel is the Hilton Jackson. CelticFest offers plenty of free parking and is of course completely family and dog friendly.
Kids under 12 get in free and we also offer college, senior and military discounted tickets which are available now on our website www.celticfestms.org and also at the gate. It’s going be a blast!
CelticFest Mississippi takes place October 23 & 24th in Brandon, MS. For more information see: www.celticfestms.org