Boasting Irish brews and Scottish bands, CelticFest is Jackson's annual celebration of Celtic culture. As the Celtic Heritage Society's largest Mississippi event, CelticFest has taken place the weekend after Labor Day each year since the festival's inception in 1992.
As one of Mississippi's only Celtic-centric celebrations, the festival attracts local, regional and international performers whose music or trade recalls primarily Irish and Scottish tradition. This year's headlining (and toe-tapping) performers include the all-Irish Fuchsia Band (fronted by Máirtín de Cógáin) Scottsman and musician Brian McNeill, and Irish band Teada.
The grounds and buildings of the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum accommodates the festival's eight stages. The outdoor and indoor venues host musical performances, music and dance workshops, a children's area, and the ever-popular Whiskey Tasting benefit (get tickets early for this one.) The Ceili Mor dance is a traditional Irish party that includes live music and encourages non-culture-specific dancing, arguably the climax of the festival. Numerous beer and food vendors are on site to fill bellies and wet whistles.
This year's festival begins 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 9, and ends 6 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 11 at the Mississippi Agricultural and Forestry Museum (1150 Lakeland Drive). Visit http://celticfestms.org for more information.