More Than 80,000 Expected For Largest And Most Majestic Celtic Event In The U.S.
More than 80,000 attendees are expected for the 34th annual Longs Peak Scottish-Irish Highland Festival taking place Thursday, September 9th through Sunday, September 12th at the Stanley Park Fairgrounds in Estes Park.
The festival began in 1976 and has grown to be the largest and most majestic Celtic festival 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 for North America’s largest Celtic parade on Saturday, September 11th at 9:00 a.m.
“When we started the event 34 years ago, it was just two booths in at Centennial Plaza on Elkhorn Avenue,” said Dr. James Durward, festival founder. ”We are now considered to be one of the five largest events in Colorado. People come for the great food, entertainment and Scottish heritage.
World-class jousters headline the festivities as they vie for the sport’s largest purse in 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 evenings. 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.
The festival kicks off Thursday night at 7:30 p.m. with Tattoo Estes- a traditional parade ground concert of military bands. Tattoo Estes, which features the Ontario Police Service All-Star Pipes and Drums, Tarton Terrors, Eddie Devine, U.S. Marine Band among others, will also take place on Friday and Saturday evenings at 7:30 p.m.
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 and cheidlh and a barn dance 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.