Annual festival draws thousands to celebrate Celtic culture

Annual festival draws thousands to celebrate Celtic culture
Hundreds of people are getting in to the Scottish spirit this weekend. (Source: Photo WLOX)

HARRISON CO., Miss. (WLOX) - Hundreds of people are getting in to the Scottish spirit this weekend. The annual Celtic Music Festival and Highland Games kicked off Saturday at the Harrison County Fairgrounds.

“We come out here to celebrate those things that the Scottish culture has contributed to American culture," said Terry Campbell with the Highlands and Islands Association of Celtic Gatherings, which organizes the event.

With plenty to see and do, the festival puts Celtic pride, heritage and culture on full display. It’s even a chance for people to learn more about their ancestry.

“We also have a genealogist," said Campblell. “So if anyone thinks they might have some Scottish blood, they can bring their last name with them and our genealogist can look through her book and see where that name might have filtered into or out of Scotland or Ireland."

For Margaret Draime, this is an event she doesn’t miss. She’s been coming for seven years. Her favorite part?

“Men in skirts, and the music. Music, first. Then men in skirts," she laughed.

Draime says the festival is also an opportunity to celebrate her own Irish heritage.

“I’ve actually been able to go across the pond to Ireland twice in my lifetime," she said. “I wish to go back. And I know I have Irish heritage, and I just love coming out here and reminiscing."

The festival also brought out first timers Jim and Myrna Stanton. For them, it’s an important celebration of culture.

“These are cultures that have been around for thousands of years," said Jim Stanton. “And we hear the word multicultural a lot in our country, but it seems to relate to new visitors in our country. And that’s great, but there’s some deeper roots in America that I think people need to explore.”

The festival continues Sunday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Events will feature the men’s and women’s highland athletic competitions. Admission is $10 for adults. Kids 12 and under are free.

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