The 22nd annual Saline Celtic Festival will feature popular annual events, new attractions and even some old popular activities returning by popular demand.
The Saline Celtic Festival takes place July 14-15 at Mill Pond Park in City of Saline. Unlike most local events and festivals, the Celtic Festival is city event. The Saline Celtic Festival is organized by a city committee, The Saline Celtic Festival Committee, with the assistance of the Friends of the Celtic Festival.
Committee members Terri Murphy and Jeff Ulrich appeared before City Council Monday to plug the event.
As always, the festival will showcase two days of music, dance, athletics and fun for adults and kids, alike.
Musical acts this year include Brother Crowe, Stone Clover, Peat in the Creel, Roane and Steel City Rovers. The Mounted Martial Equestrian Games, featuring jousting armored knights, will take place at 12:30 p.m., 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. Saturday. Highland Athletics takes place Saturday. There are also demonstrations by sheep herders, the Ann Arbor Sword Club, Ring of Steel and more.
Friday night is Pub Night at the Celtic Festival. Tickets are just $5. Longtime Celtic Festival patrons will welcome the return of two crowd favorites – the Mr. Pretty Legs competition (9:45 p.m.) and the Limerick Competition (7:45 p.m.).
“We felt like there was something missing and there had been some demand from attendees to bring them back,” Ulrich said.
Ring of Steel offers a Fire Performance at 10 p.m. Brother Crowe plays at 8:15 and 10:30 p.m. Musicians are also invited to bring their instruments and jam with the Detroit Irish Music Association.
Saturday is filled with music, demonstrations and competitions.
Another new attraction this year is the Noble Company and Order of St. Maurice – a group which replicates Crusades-era encampments, complete with Knights Templar.
One event that won’t happen this year is the Celtic Mastodon Challenge. One of the key organizers was called away and will not have time to set up the course this year.
In terms of money and people power, this year’s event is strong, said Ulrich.
“We’ve bested our corporate sponsorship goals and volunteerism requests are up,” Ulrich said.
To save money, the festival is renting one large tent instead of two, and adding two new 20-by-30-foot tents.
Ulrich said the festival has stepped up its social media campaign to help save money on marketing.
Mayor Brian Marl invited members of city council to join him at the opening ceremony at 11 a.m., Saturday.
“We are looking forward to the 22nd annual Saline Celtic Festival, and we’ll pray for good weather,” Marl said.
Murphy replied, “We are assured of good weather.”