Goderich Celtic Roots Festival
The Celtic Roots Festival is a three-day outdoor festival held annually on the second weekend in August showcasing the world’s best Celtic music, dance and art all in the beautiful setting of Goderich, Ontario. With five stages, varying from small intimate performances to the high-powered Main Stage, the Festival is a unique musical experience in Canada and on the world-wide stage.
No matter your cultural heritage during the second weekend in August everyone who comes to Goderich has Celtic Roots.
In 2017, the Goderich Celtic Roots Festival celebrated 25 years – a quarter century of bringing smiles to the faces of people who sit on the lawn in Lions Harbour Park to listen to global and national talents weave magic on fiddle, guitar, banjo, harp, tin whistle and drum. It is next to impossible for listeners not to tap their toes. Although rich in all things Celtic the festival at its soul is about the live musical performances, offering over 60 hours of entertainment on five stages that very from the grand to the intimate.
It wouldn’t be a festival if there wasn’t food and drink and both these boxes are checked with the offerings of both a locavore style food court and a beer garden. And for those youngsters who might like a little time away from their parents there is also a supervised children’s area.
As the music dances on the air and floats down the cliff side to the harbour people can meander through the Artisan Village and marvel at the creations of the high-quality craft artisans who set up shop in the park. Many of these gifted individuals offer demonstrations of their craft over the weekend as well as share their skills at the Celtic College that is held in the days leading up to the festival.
If it has always been a dream to take up the Tin Whistle, learn Sword Dancing or study Sacred Geometry then the Celtic College is definitely the place to enroll. World renowned experts lead over 100 classes for every skill level. Not to be left out there is a Kid’s Day Camp that provides children aged four to 12 an opportunity to take part in all things Celtic!
In more recent years the festival has expanded to offer the Rural Roots Concert Series. By partnering with local groups throughout Huron County, the festival is able to share with others the benefit of having high caliber musicians visit during Celtic Week. The series allows for more Celtic concerts to be held in halls and rural venues throughout the county including locations in Clinton, Wingham, Bayfield, Teeswater, Exeter and Kingsbridge.
There’s a saying in Gaelic, “Céad Míle Fáilte.” Its literal translation is “one hundred thousand welcomes”, or “you are welcome, a thousand times, wherever you come from, whosoever you be.” A sentiment of the Celtic spirit that no doubt attracts thousands of festival goers to Goderich each and every year.
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