Largest And Most Majestic Celtic Event In The U.S. Celebrates It’s 37th Year
More than 80,000 people are expected to attend this year’s 37th annual Longs Peak Scottish-Irish Highland Festival, taking place Thursday, September 5th through Sunday, September 8th at Stanley Park Fairgrounds in Estes Park.
The festival began in 1976 and has grown to be the largest and most majestic Celtic festivals in the U.S. with more than 50 events including Jousting competitions, Highland games, musical acts, dance performances and dog show contests as well as plenty of Scottish and Irish food, drink and crafts. More than 40,000 spectators will line the streets on Saturday morning at 9:30 a.m. to enjoy North America’s largest Celtic parade, which will kick-off with the new Highlander 5K race.
”I am grateful for the continued success of the Longs Peak Scottish-Irish Highland Festival as we celebrate our 37th year,” said Dr. James Durward, festival founder. “I am particularly excited about this year’s special tribute to the history of Estes Park. During World War II the citizens of Estes Park purchased bonds to pay for a fighter plane to help the war effort. A replica of this plane, called the Estes Park Avenger, will fly over the festival grounds as a reminder of the rich history of our town.”
The festival kicks off Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. with Tattoo Estes – a one-of-a-kind parade ground concert that features military and pipe bands. This year’s program celebrates the 60th anniversary of the Korean War and will include the ScottishPower Pipe Band, Band of America’s Few, Bermuda Regimental Band, Colonial Williamsburg Fifes & Drums, Fountain City Brass Band, Queen City Pipe Band, Fort Collins Pipe Band, Pipedance and many more. It will also take place on Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m.
World-class Jousters headline the festivities as they vie for the sport’s largest purse in what is considered to be the “Super Bowl of Jousting.” This competition features skill and accuracy events as well as the heavy armor competition. The Highland games showcase equally talented athletes displaying amazing strength and vying for the U.S. and international pro and amateur championships in the caber toss, hammer and stone throw.
Each day of the festival, Estes Park’s breathtaking mountains play backdrop to more than 1,000 Scottish, Irish and Welsh dancers while Celtic rock, folk and traditional bands liven up the clear nights. Those seeking a true glimpse into Celtic culture can top it all off by sampling traditional food and drink as well as browsing the wares of more than 100 importers and crafters of Celtic goods. Visitors can also check out their own families’ genealogy by visiting the more than 70 Scottish family clan and society booths.
On Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the festival fairgrounds will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. In addition Estes Celtic concerts will be held on Friday and Saturday evenings and many other activities will take place throughout the weekend. For more information and to order tickets, call 1-800-90-ESTES, visit www.scotfest.com or go through Ticketwest at any King Soopers location.