Gallery: Celtic Festival Opens With Song, Fun and Fire

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 07/15/2017 - 01:14
A performer from Ring of Steel dances around the ring flinging around small balls of fire.

Blessed with beautiful weather and a boisterous crowd, the Saline Celtic Festival enjoyed a strong opening night at Mill Pond Park Friday night.

(Note: Residents can take shuttle buses to the park from Heritage Elementary School.)

As usual, the pub night crowd was late arriving.

The share of men and women dressed in kilts seemed higher than usual. Even Saline Police Chief Larry Hrinik, Officer Chris Boulter and Reserve Sgt. Jerry Salame wore kilts for the occasion.

Picking up where they left off Thursday night, Brother Crowe played three different sets. The two-man act from Detroit played everything from Johnny Cash to Flogging Molly.

When the sun went down the festival kicked into high gear.

The Mr. Pretty Legs competition, hosted by Amber Sotelo, attracted nearly a dozen contestants. They sauntered around stage, hiked their kilts and even twerked for an appreciative audience. But in the end, it was Bill Merrifield, the nearly 65-year-old Marine veteran from Canton, who won the event. He dropped to the stage and did a few push ups to win over the judges.

The Limerick contest also returned to the Saline Celtic Festival. The winner was Siobhan Cable, of Clinton, who wrote a long limerick describing her parents’ love affair.

A little later in the evening, a crowd gathered to watch Ann Arbor stunt troupe Ring of Steel dance around a ring, twirling and spinning fireballs.

The Saline Celtic Festival continues Saturday with more music, food and drink, plus jousting, kids activities, ancient athletics and more. Tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors (65 and up), and $5 for youth (13-17). Children under 13 and active military enter free.

Here’s the schedule for tomorrow:


7:00 am  Shuttle Service Begins

10:00 am  Highland Dance Registration, Edinburgh

10:30 am – 5:00 pm  Highland Dance Competition, Edinburgh

11:00 am
Opening Ceremony with Massed Bands
Peat in the Creel, Brecon

11:30 am  Indigo Dyeing Demonstration, Textile Tent

12:00 pm
Saline Fiddlers Philharmonic, Red Dragon
Motor City Irish, Brecon
Purcell Irish Pipers of Detroit-Uilleann piping demonstration, Glasgow
Ancient Athletic Games Begin
Wee Folks Island Opens

12:15 pm  Princess Merida Story Time, Wee Folks Island

12:30 pm
Golf Chipping, Field
Ring of Steel

1:00 pm
Sheep Herding
Tartan & Thistle Dance, Brecon
Ducky Race, Wee Folks Island

1:10 pm  Princess Merida Story Time, Wee Folks Island

1:15 pm Try-An-Instrument hosted by the Detroit Irish Music Association, Glasgow

1:30 pm Haggis Hurl, Field Event

1:35 pm  Peat in the Creel, Red Dragon

2:00 pm
Indigo Dyeing Demonstration, Textile Tent
Irish Dance Company of Lansing, Brecon
Ring of Steel
Ducky Race, Wee Folks Island
Pipe Band, Glasgow 

2:10 pm
Princess Merida Story Time, Wee Folks Island
Motor City Irish Dancers, Red Dragon Stage

2:30 pm  Golf Chipping, Field

2:35 pm
Nutshell Ann Arbor, Red Dragon

3:00 pm
Sheep Herding
Ducky Race, Wee Folks Island
Damsha Uisce Ban Mor, Brecon – Participatory ceili dancing
Pipe Band, Glasgow

3:15 pm  Music Workshop with Steel City Rovers, Wee Folks Island

3:25 pm  A2 Celtic Harpers, Red Dragon

3:30 pm
Haggis Hurl, Field Event
Ring of Steel

4:00 pm
Indigo Dyeing Demonstration, Textile Tent
Commonwealth Dance Collective, Brecon
Ducky Race, Wee Folks Island
Pipe Band, Glasgow

4:10 pm  Princess Merida Story Time, Wee Folks Island

4:15 pm  ROANE, Red Dragon

4:30 pm
Golf Chipping, Field
Wee Folks Parade, Festival Field

4:50 pm   A2 Morris dancers, Red Dragon

5:00 pm
Sheep Herding
Ring of Steel
Dancin’ Feet School of Gaelic Culture and Dance, Brecon
Steel City Rovers, Edinburgh
Massed Pipe Bands, Piper’s Hill

5:15 pm  Brother Crowe, Red Dragon

5:30 pm
Haggis Hurl, Field Event

6:00 pm
Ann Arbor Morris, Brecon
Ring of Steel

6:15 pm  Celtic Jam, Edinburgh

6:35 pm  Irish Dance Company of Lansing, Red Dragon

7:00 pm
Steel City Rovers, Red Dragon
O’Kennedy Irish Dance Academy, Brecon

7:30 pm Participatory Music Session led by Celtic Jam, Edinburgh

8:45 pm  CrossBow, Red Dragon

10:00 pm Fire Performance by Ring of Steel outside of Red Dragon tent

10:30 pm Stone Clover, Red Dragon

Midnight  Shuttle Service Ends


Tran Longmoore's picture
Tran Longmoore
Tran Longmoore is a veteran community journalist. He is founder and owner of He is co-publisher of The Saline Post weekly newspaper. Email him at [email protected] or call him at 734-272-6294.

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