Ringgold To Host Celtic Festival And Highland Games Sept. 21

Tuesday, September 10, 2013
Athletes will compete in a variety of events during the Ringgold Highland Games.
Athletes will compete in a variety of events during the Ringgold Highland Games.
- photo by Appalachian Celtic Festival & Highland Games

The Scots, Irish, Welsh and Appalachian folk will gather again in Ringgold for a day of music, culture, food and fun and games on Saturday, Sept. 21, on Emberson Drive in Ringgold.  The days events will include a variety of celtic themed music and traditional Scottish athletic competitions known as "the Highland Games."  

Dave Summer, the new athletic director for the festival said "[I'm] excited about being a part of the Appalachian Celtic group and expects a large number of athletes to compete."  The Highland Games features events such as the Caber Toss, Hammer Throw, Sheaf Toss and more. According to Mr. Summers, "The Highland Games will also feature competitions by female athletes."

As for music, "Celtic band Highland Reign will be headlining the event again this year," said Richard Ball, festival board member and entertainment director.  Dulcimer band, Frettin' on Faith, will open the festival at 9:30 a.m.  Also scheduled is the Irish band Green Flag from Atlanta as well as a new group Pictus, and a local Ringgold band 6 String Suga Daddy.  Chattanooga Pipes and Drums will also make an appearance.   "We encourage participation," said Mr. Ball. "A picker's tent will be available for anyone who would like to come and play." 

Children's games will be ongoing all day.  Continuing a tradition from previous years the festival will hold a "Bonniest Knees Contest" and the Welsh Society will sponsor a "Welly Wanging Contest," as well.

Christina Ball, vendor and Scottish clan tent coordinator said, "[she] has several vendors scheduled for the festival such as celtic jewelry, celtic ironwork, medieval clothing, Appalachian pottery, and woodcarving." To give attendees a taste of celtic cuisine Ms. Ball said, "Food vendors will include Scottish, Appalachian, and American food." 

Hours for the festival will be from 9 a.m.-5:30 p.m. at the Ringgold Recreation fields on Emberson Drive. Admission is $5 for adults and 3 for children ages 6-12.  Children under the age of 6 will be admitted free. For more information go to http://www.appalachiancelticconnection.org/.

Two other special events are planned for the day as the Ringgold Convention & Visitor's Bureau will unveil a historical marker commemorating the 175th Anniversary of the Trail of Tears near the Chief Richard Taylor Nature trail.  And following the event, attendees are invited to join the vendors and musicians for a Ceilidh (pronounced: Kay-lee) gathering at Acoustic Cafe in Ringgold beginning at 8 p.m.
 Traditional Celtic music will be featured throughout the day's events.
Traditional Celtic music will be featured throughout the day's events.
- Photo2 by Appalachian Celtic Festival & Highland Games

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