As a nod to Hurricane Irma, organizers of the annual Celtic Festival have reduced the price of admission to $5 a head.

“The community is experiencing a financial burden right now,” said Theo Derleth. “We wanted to make it as easy as possible to have a good time, a chance to get away from the stress of rebuilding.”

A free-admission “Kilts in the Keys” celebration kicks off the weekend, featuring Irish music from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 5, at Marathon Grill and Ale House. The festival itself runs 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday at Marathon Community Park.

Festival-goers can expect all of the regular festivities — highland athletics competition, sheep herding demonstrations, dancing, live (really, really good) music, food and drink. Derleth said that this year the Celtic-specific vendors will be organized into a centralized “village.”

“The Screaming Orphans are a big hit,” he said. “They play a mix of traditional and original music, plus they’re just funny and entertaining.”

The festival raises funds for the nonprofit Hammock House, which provides after-school and summer care for school-age children under the direction of St. Columba Episcopal Church.


Friday, Jan. 5

5 p.m.: “Kilts in the Keys” party at Marathon Grill and Ale House, Marathon.

Saturday, Jan. 6

11 a.m.: Police Pipe & Drum Corps

11:15 a.m. West of Galway

12:15 p.m.: Marcille Wallis & Friends

1 p.m.: Opening ceremonies

1:15 p.m.: Albannach

2:15 p.m.: Screaming Orphans

3:15 p.m. West of Galway

4:15 p.m.: Marcille Wallis & Friends

5:15 p.m. Albannach

6 p.m.: Athletic Awards

6:15 p.m.: Screaming Orphans

7 p.m.: Comp line

Ongoing through out the day: highland athletic competition, Irish and Scottish dancing, sheep dog herding demonstrations

Sunday, Jan. 7

9:30 a.m.:  Celtic contemporary worship

11 a.m.: Albannach

Noon: Screaming Orphans

1 p.m.: West of Galway

2 p.m. Marcille Wallis & Friends

3 p.m.: Albannach

4 p.m.: Screaming Orphans

Ongoing through out the day: Irish and Scottish dancing


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