A cultural celebration of the seven Celtic nations, the new festival on the Oregon coast features Celtic music, dance, food, drink, crafts, vendors, kids events, family histories and Highland Games.
The inaugural Newport Celtic Festival & Highland Games will be held June 10, 11 and 12, 2011 at the Lincoln County Fairgrounds in the heart of Newport.
The weekend long festival will celebrate the cultures of the seven Celtic Nations of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Brittany, Galicia, Cornwall and the Isle of Man. There will be Celtic music, dance, athletics, theater and vendors who sell authentic food, drink, arts, crafts, family histories and other items deeply rooted in these rich cultures.
Kickoff events include Irish Céilí, a community dance organized by Newport resident Susan Spencer, owner of Bridie's Irish Faire.
"Long before the advent of 'Facebook', these lively dances facilitated social networks for people from surrounding local villages, which involved storytelling through music and dance and, in some cases, led to courtship and marriage." says Spencer.
Beginning Saturday morning June 11, the two-day Scottish Highland Games have the potential to draw thousands of visitors and participants to Newport. As example, the 2010 Highland Games at Enumclaw, WA recently attracted 29,000 attendees.
Athletics Coordinator Liam Hughes hopes the Highland Games will inspire local young athletes to discover a novel, although ancient, form of sporting competition.
"It is believed the origins of the games are rooted in training for warfare, these events have genuine historical purpose, which makes their present-day existence very meaningful to the competitors," explains Hughes.
Additional sporting events will include a pre-festival golf fundraiser, a "Kilted Kilometer" fun run on the beach and a tug-o-war for competitors who sign up as teams to compete.
The festival and games are being brought to life through the dedication of local Lincoln County volunteers and business owners whose common bond is a desire to share their pride in their Celtic culture. Produced by the City of Newport’s Parks and Recreation Department, the goal is to create a major annual festival for the entire community.
The family friendly festival in Newport is intended to be affordable for both locals and visitors who will be traveling to the central Oregon coast to partake in this exciting experience. The goal is to honor Celtic heritage while educating the general public.
Newport Celtic Festival challenges chefs
Think you have what it takes to make a great Celtic cuisine? The festival is presenting the Celtic Culinary Challenge, a fun opportunity for local area chefs to explore new areas of cuisine and expand the horizons of their patrons’ palate.
The seven Celtic nations of Brittany, Cornwall, Galicia, Ireland, Isle of Man, Scotland and Wales all share a maritime heritage, much like Newport.
The challenge to bakers, chefs and cooks is to research traditional foods from one or more of the seven Celtic Nations, recreate authentic food items and sell them as a vendor at the festival. People's choice ballots will be available during the festival for foodies to select the winners of best single dish, best theme booth and best overall winner.
This is an opportunity for Newport's chefs to expand their restaurant's repertoire, and educate the public about the rich diversity of traditional Celtic cuisine.
Spanning Oregon's Coast: The Scots-Irish that built America
Newport is celebrating the 75th anniversary of the Yaquina Bay Bridge, one of six built in the late 1930s by Conde Balcom McCullough, a second generation Scots-Irish engineer. The Yaquina Bay Bridge in Newport was the final link that opened the entire coast by highway, changing all the towns from remote fishing villages to members of the modern auto age.
McCullough and his team designed the bridges in six months and completed them in 22 months. He also made the extra effort to design the bridges with art deco detail from top to bottom, and for that he has achieved some notoriety.
At the Celtic festival, a lone piper will sound the call from the North end of the bridge to signal the start of the Celtic Heritage parade.