The St. Augustine Celtic Music & Heritage Festival is held in America’s Oldest Celtic City with multi-award-winning cultural events to be held on Saturday, March 11 and Sunday, March 12. Top international and U.S. Celtic bands, Highland Games, workshops, lectures, Celtic food and artisan crafts, and a St. Patrick Day parade will be featured, plus a special whiskey tasting event on Friday, March 10. The Celtic Music & Heritage Festival and activities will be held at Francis Field, 29 W. Castillo Dr. in historic downtown St. Augustine. Fla. The events are produced by Romanza-St. Augustine, Inc.
Tickets for the festival on March 11 and March 12 may be purchased online at www.celticstaugustine.com/tickets or at Ann O’Malley’s Irish Pub, 23 Orange Street in St. Augustine, and during the Festival at the gate. The Whiskey Tasting begins at 6:30 p.m. until 9 p.m. with a variety of offerings and acoustic music by The Steel City Rovers. Whiskey Tasting limited-seating tickets are available online only.
America’s oldest Celtic city
According to Pat Syeles, Festival Director, the events were first produced in 2011 and have increased in significance and attendance with awards for best music festival and best food festival in northeast Florida. The music of the Celtic people of Scotland and Ireland, and the seven Celtic nations will be celebrated in St. Augustine, America’s Oldest Celtic City founded in 1565 by Spanish Celts. St. Augustine’s four centuries of Celtic heritage will also be highlighted during the Festival’s Highland Games on March 11 and March 12 starting at 10 a.m. at Francis Field with athletes demonstrating and testing their strength and endurance, and Celtic clans displaying their ancestral pride.
A special highlight of the festival weekend includes the only St. Patrick Parade in Northeast Florida on Saturday March 11 at 10 a.m. starting at Francis Field. In 1601, St. Augustine’s first Irish vicar, Padre Thomas Hassett led the first historically documented St. Patrick procession recorded in the world. This year’s parade will feature professional bagpipe and drum bands along with local talent and hundreds of parade participants through historic, downtown St. Augustine. The Parade Review Stand is sponsored by Ann O’Malley’s Irish Pub.
The St. Augustine Celtic Music & Heritage Festival begins at 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. on Saturday and from 10 a.m. until 7 p.m. on Sunday. Top touring bands from Scotland, Ireland, Canada, and the U.S. will play traditional songs and Celtic rock throughout the two-day festival. An extensive music line-up includes Albannach, Dublin City Ramblers, Seven Nations, Steel City Rovers, La Unica, Syr, Jamison, and Dragonfly. Chad Light is the main stage host and emcee. Additional entertainment, lectures and workshops will be on the second stage with host Robert Burns.
Tickets include a variety of entertainment options for both days. Vendors will offer Celtic cuisine along with a variety of food and beverage, as well as handmade and imported Celtic crafts.
For more information about the Festival and St. Patrick Parade, visit the website at www.celticstaugustine.com.