Clans on the Coast is a Celtic festival that has previously been held in Nelson Bay New South Wales. Started by Ron Swan OAM heading a committee of likeminded people the first Clans on the Coast was held in 2007. COVID 19 forced the festival to go into a long hiatus. The committee is now trialling a new location in 2023, as Raymond Terrace is more centrally located. Adam Nicholas one of the event organisers has long thought that this would be a logical move to keep the traditions of the Celtic culture alive in a modern era of screen addictions. Celtic people were amongst the first settlers in the Hunter Region.
Something for everyone
With a fresh outlook on the event, the festival is to be held at Lakeside Sports Complex. Lakeside is a larger venue allowing the festival to be spread out across two football fields. This event provides a family day out, encouraging the involvement of local and regional amateur artists, community groups and service clubs. Opening the day with a massed pipes and drums and the calling of the Clans’ festival goers are encouraged to wear something Celtic to help with the atmosphere of the day. Schools are being invited to march in the opening and the best dressed Celtic student will win some prize money to be equally split with the school they attend. The long running dog competition will not be on this year unfortunately due to ground restrictions as dogs are not allowed in the complex. All the crowd favourites will be there with the strong men, the reenactors, dancers, clans and bands. Pick through the stalls and enjoy the great food. This event will have something for everyone even rides for the children. Following the close of the day with another massed pipes and drums and the award ceremony is the evening event of the ceilidh.
This year the ceilidh is being held in the Raymond Terrace Bowling Club. The Oxford Dictionary definition explains a ceilidh as a social event with Scottish or Irish folk music and singing, traditional dancing, and storytelling. There will be marching a pipe and drum band through the bowling club on the night, you can expect a two-course meal, experience the Address to a Haggis by Robert Burns with a bit of pageantry. Haggis will be optional to try with a side helping of bashed neeps (turnip) and The Ukulele Scotsman will also be playing at this event.
Clans on the Coast takes place on Saturday September 23rd. Tickets are now available online for both the festival and the ceilidh at: www.clansonthecoast.com.au.