Celtic Festival and Highland Games of the Quad Cities



2017 Celtic Festival and Highland Games of the Quad Cities 

Activities and Events

Belegarth Medieval Combat Society
Friday (9/15/17), 11 AM - 7 PM, Living History Area
Saturday (9/16/17), 9 AM - 6 PM, Living History Area

Belegarth Medieval Combat Society is a fun, safe, and inexpensive sport where participants wear medieval or fantasy-themed clothing and fight with foam-padded weapons. The fighting is hard and fast and has, since 1979, refined into its own brand of martial art. The rules are easy to learn, and after a few practices, you’ll be hooked!

Like traditional sport teams, Belegarth groups have themes and symbols. Many groups choose to base themselves on medieval fantasy fiction or history such as Lord of the Rings, Game of Thrones, or ancient Rome. Participants choose a name that represents them and can choose to portray a character or to simply just fight. Since the Belegarth ruleset is for combat and safety only, all role-play is optional. The amount of effort you put into your characterization is up to you! Belegarth provides a great environment for both serious role players and those who would rather just fight.

Blacksmithing Demonstration
Friday (9/15/17), 11 AM - 7 PM, Living History Area
Saturday (9/16/17), 9 AM - 7 PM, Living History Area
 JoeLatsch.jpg  Come watch a demonstration of traditional metalworking as Joe Latsch heats and hammers iron into interesting shapes.
Bonnie Knees Competition
Saturday (9/16/17), 12:45 PM - 1 PM, Workshop Tent 
  In any Highland Games celebration, one of the most popular events is the bonnie knees contest. In this competition, the contestants will be be hidden with only their legs showing and a winner will be chosen by applause.  The bonnie knees contest has become a regular part of many worldwide Scottish games competitions in a number of countries.
Celtic Princess Competition 
Saturday (9/16/17), 12:30 PM - 12:45 PM, Workshop Tent 
2017-Princess.jpg For girls 13 and younger.  Dress in your Celtic finest!  The winner will be based off of whoever best embodies the Celtic spirit.  Winner will receive crown, wand, sash and will be in the parade of tartans in 2018. No registration necessary.
Clan Booths & Heritage
Friday (9/15/17), 11 AM - 5 PM, Grounds
Saturday (9/16/17), 9 AM - 5 PM, Grounds
 2017-ClanMap.jpg Check out the clan booths scattered among the vendors at the festival. Learn more about your native clan, or about the clans in general.
Coloring and Cookie Decorating
Friday (9/15/17), 11 AM - 7 PM, Family Activities Area
Saturday (9/16/17), 9 AM - 6 PM, Family Activities Area
2017-Sword.jpg Bring the family to color cardboard swords and shields for the kids to take home. Also spend some time decorating (and eating) sugar cookies.
Friday (9/15/17), 11 AM - 9 PM, Entertainment Tent
Saturday (9/16/17), 9 AM - 9 PM, Entertainment Tent

Come check out the various bands joining us at this year's festival, including a mix of bands from the Midwest and from the Celtic Nations. This year, our headline bands are joinging us from Wales and Ireland!

For the full list of bands, click here.

Highland Dance Competition
Saturday (9/16/17), 9 AM - 12 PM, Dance Tent
Saturday (9/16/17), 1 PM - 3 PM, Dance Tent

The Highland Dance Competition is returning to our festival this year!

Highland dancing was once performed exclusively by men and began as athletic competitions among warriors. Dances such as the Highland Fling and the Ghillie Callum (or sword dance) required great skill and energy, and kept the troops in condition. Today the dancers are no less athletic, and the events are open to both male and female dancers. Dance steps are standardized by the Scottish Official Board of Highland Dancing (SOBHD) and competitions are held world-wide. In the United States, six geographic regions hold a qualifying competition each spring from which the top three finalists from each region are selected to compete at the United States Inter-Regional Highland Dancing Championships. Judges evaluate a dancer on three major criteria: timing, technique, and deportment.

Highland Dance Workshop
Friday (9/15/17), 3 PM - 5 PM, Dance Tent
Saturday (9/16/17), 3 PM - 3:30 PM, Dance Tent

 Join us for an introduction to Highland dancing. Presented by the Peacock School of Highland Dance.

The Peacock School of Highland Dance is an emerging school in Madison, Wisconsin. We offer instruction in Scottish Highland Dance to all ages and skill levels. We teach for competition, performances, and recreation. We encourage dancers to connect with the art, sport, and tradition of Highland Dance in whatever way they find best and most rewarding.

Highland Dance is a traditional Scottish art form and sport. Being highly energetic and athletic by nature, Highland Dance is a combination of strength, precision, and grace. It’s a wonderful way to participate in Scottish heritage and in the modern-day Scottish-American culture.

So, whether you’re Scottish by birth, ancestry, persuasion, or curiosity, come join us for a Fling!

Highland Games
Celebrity Highland Games, Saturday (9/16/17), 11 AM - 12 PM, Athletics Fields
Special Highland Games, Friday (9/15/17), 5 PM - 7 PM, Athletics Fields
Special Highland Games, Saturday (9/16/17), 9 AM - 12 PM, Athletics Fields
Traditional Highland Games, Saturday (9/16/17), 9 AM - 5 PM, Athletics Fields

The Heavy Events, Games of Strength and Agility, are one of the traditional features of any Highland Games festival. We hope you’ll enjoy the experience of watching flying telephone poles (cabers), heavy hammers and other unusual Celtic tests of strength and Agility.

Back again for the second year, we will be hosting the Special Highland Games. This year Special Highland Games will also include Friday night dance instructions.

Irish Dance Workshop
 Saturday (9/16/17), 4:30 PM - 5 PM, Dance Tent

Join us for an introduction to Irish dancing. Presented by the Champagne Academy of Irish Dance.

The Champagne Academy of Irish Dance is committed to providing Irish dance instruction at the highest level. We strive to preserve and promote all forms of Irish dance, including step dancing, ceili dancing, and team dancing; offering classes for students of all ages and levels who wish to develop their Irish dancing skills and technique and to be a part of the Champagne Academy.

Champagne Academy is also a community of dancers and dance families who, through learning Irish dance, build values that will shape them throughout their lifetime. We create a safe learning environment for all through mutual respect and responsibility toward all teachers, assistants, students, and dance families. Champagne Academy strives to enhance dancers’ self-esteem and confidence, and encourages dancers to work hard and strive for excellence.

Our hope is for students to begin Irish dance because they find it unique, continue because it’s fun, and to commit to it because of their passion. We hope dancers learn the values of diligence and commitment through teamwork and bond with their Irish dance family through mutual trust and support. Champagne Academy also promotes the Celtic arts and other forms of traditional folk art in Iowa. We welcome the community to join the Champagne Irish Dancers to learn more about Irish culture, language, music, and dance at our community events.

Irish Language Workshop
Friday (9/15/17), 11:35 AM - 12:05 PM, Workshop Tent
Friday (9/15/17), 12:45 PM - 1:15 PM, Workshop Tent
Friday (9/15/17), 4 PM - 5 PM, Workhsop Tent
Saturday (9/16/17), 9 AM - 10 AM, Workshop Tent

Why not Irish? You know what is said about alzheimer's, one way to guard against alzheimer's is to learn another language, thus keeping your brain in condition. Many of my ancestors came from Ireland. How about yours? So why not learn the language that they spoke, and perhaps get a feel of what kind of people they were. Many people here in the U.S. are doing just that right now, so take the leap and join us at one of the above organizations.

Why is it not called Gaelic? Gaelic is of the Celtic family of languages. One Celtic branch includes Welsh, Breton, and Cornish; while the other (Gaelic branch) includes Irish, Scottish and Manx. It is Gaelic, but it is Irish Gaelic as opposed to Scottish Gaelic or Manx Gaelic, and referred to simply as Irish. Irish speaking areas of Ireland are referred to as the Gaeltacht.

Parade of Tartans
Saturday (9/16/17), 12 PM - 12:30 PM, Grounds
  Join us for our Parade of Tartans. The Black Hawk Pipes and Drums will lead off with representatives of the clans in attendance, ending at the Caber Field for a brief speech introducing the clans and thanking everyone for attending.
Petting Zoo
Friday (9/15/17), 11 AM - 7 PM, Family Activities Area
Saturday (9/16/17), 9 AM - 6 PM, Family Activities Area
2017-PettingzZoo.jpg Come visit the petting zoo to learn more about farm animals used in the Celtic nations. There will also be mule rides for the children.
Sheep Herding Demonstration
Friday (9/15/17), 11 AM - 11:30 AM, Sheep Field
Friday (9/15/17), 12:10 PM - 12:40 PM, Sheep Field
Friday (9/15/17), 2:30 PM - 3 PM, Sheep Field
Saturday (9/16/17), 10 AM - 10:30 AM, Sheep Field
Saturday (9/16/17), 11:30 AM - 12 PM, Sheep Field
Saturday (9/16/17), 1:30 PM - 2 PM, Sheep Field
Saturday (9/16/17), 3 PM - 3:30 PM, Sheep Field

Come watch Wendy as she demonstrates traditional herding using Border Collies.

A well-trained herding dog works in partnership with its handler and obeys commands to perform its job. Properly trained, the dog is able to move the sheep just about anywhere. Good herding dogs control sheep with calm authority and without excessive "commotion".

Society for Creative Anachronisms
Saturday (9/16/17), 9 AM - 6 PM, Living History Area
2017-SCA.jpg The Society for Creative Anachronism is an international organization dedicated to researching and re-creating the arts and skills of pre-17th-century Europe. Our “Known World” consists of 20 kingdoms, with over 30,000 members residing in countries around the world. Members, dressed in clothing of the Middle Ages and Renaissance, attend events which feature tournaments, royal courts, feasts, dancing, various classes & workshops, and more.
Third Iowa Cavalry
Friday (9/15/17), 11 AM - 7 PM, Living History Area
Saturday (9/16/17), 9 AM - 7 PM, Living History Area

The Third Iowa Cavalry Reenactors Incorporated was founded in February of 2006, by a handful of inexperienced reenactors and a couple of history buffs. Our Unit portrays the Troopers of the 3d Regt Iowa Cavalry.

We have begun (2014) to fill 2 Companies; D &M and are looking at creating 1st Battalion (4 Companies) of the 3d IA Cavalry. We have those with horse (mounted) and those without (dismounted). At events we portray a garrison style camp, so you'll find the trooper's ladies, wives and children in camp as well.

Our unit is one that reveals what is sometime hidden within the folds of history. Within one of those folds, you'll find the woman soldier. Our unit strives to honor that woman soldier and her service to her country. We do our best to blend in with the boys.

At events, we try to maintain a living history environment within our camp to use as a medium to help educate people on the lifestyle and conditions of the 1860's. Such as open fire cooking, care and firing of period weapons, maintenance of equipment and uniforms, sewing, even period card and children games. Not quite sure what we mean by, "maintain a living history environment", well to best explain it, a Living Historian, is an amateur historian who interprets and teaches in a whole new way. As a living historian, you become that soldier or civilian, a time traveler so to speak. And as you go through the day to day activities as they would of done back then, you teach with the 5 senses: sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste. Which can leave a haunting impression of life during the Civil War, upon those who experience it at an event.

Tug of War
Saturday (9/16/17), 12 PM - 4 PM, Athletics Fields
2017-TugOfWar.jpg Returning for their second year is the 8-man tug of war competitions with the United States Amateur Tug of War Association
Vendor Row
Friday (9/15/17), 11 AM - 5 PM
Saturday (9/16/17), 9 AM - 5 PM
  Spend some time shopping for Celtic themed merchandise among the many vendors at the festival.
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