Happy St. Patrick’s Day- We’re one week away!

It’s been a fast and furious several months getting this baby off the ground. We hope that everything we’ve kept, changed or tweaked will make for an enjoyable couple of days for everyone!
We know there were people who didn’t understand why we moved it from September or why we dropped Sunday from the schedule. We assure you these were necessary for this year and hope that you will have such a great time that you’ll forgive us for the changes. .
I’m personally grateful for the encouragement and support from so many people,  especially from all those who know what it’s like to organize this shindig!

On behalf of the Celtic Heritage Society Board,  Thank you and see you next week!

Oh yeah- and the schedule is up!


What’s “New” for 2018?

When a festival has been an annual event since 1992 (we know-2017 became a planning year) everything under the Celtic Sun has probably been done already.  The new team has been working diligently for several months and we’re excited to revisit old favorites and maybe offer a twist or two.

On Friday night, March 23rd,  our long time location on the grounds of MS Ag Museum will offer you a “Taste of CelticFest” with a ticket price of just $5!  There will be performances on the Forestry Main Stage sponsored by Wine & Spirits in the Quarter, the Jerry Baldridge Tent Stage as well as some informal session space on the Fenian’s Pub Stage.

The dancers among us are especially excited to offer the Céilí Beag this year in the Sparkman Auditorium sponsored by Jackson Irish Dancers.  What’s a Céilí Beag?  Small Dance of course! With Caller Jackie O’Riley this céilí is geared toward more experienced dancers with traditional set dancing as well as céilí dances but of course everyone is welcome!  The famous and unique CelticFest Céilí Mór (Big Dance) is still Saturday night from 8-Midnight in the Forestry Building.  If you have no idea what a “céilí (kay-lee) is then you MUST come out and see for yourself! Spectators are also very welcome!

A limited, but fine selection of our Vendors will be set up on Friday night with the full complement on Saturday.  We’re excited for you to greet old favorites and meet the first timers who are sure to become favorites!  Of course the Captial Cities Beverages Beer Truck will be there Friday and Saturday.

Schedules will be posted here on the website the week prior to the Festival and a printed version will be available at the Celtic Heritage Society Tent where you will purchase your beer tickets, browse and pick up CD’s and Merchandise for sale by the many artists as well as the CelticFest MS 2018 T-shirt!  We’ll also be offering previous CelticFest Banners  for sale as well as “Vintage” CelticFest T-shirts.  Limited supply so get em’ while you can!

Saturday March 24th – ALL the Bands, Dancers, Workshops, Clans, Shire of Iron Ox chapter of the SCA,  Marilyn the Highland Coo & animals to delight, Blacksmiths from the MS Forge Council, Highland Games Demonstrations and Bagpipers and of course The Kindred Spirits Whisky Tasting!  Sponsored kindly by our great friends at Wine & Spirits in the Quarter ( 1855 Lakeland Drive) Kindred Spirits will be Saturday from 4 -8 pm in the Ethnic Heritage Building. Two price points and even better value! Check out the details Here.

Get Social with us!  We’re on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram as @celticfestms . The links are to your right on this page.



If you’ve read this far, YOU are a saint and a scholar and deserve a bonus!

Join us Thursday March 22nd at the fabulous Fairview Inn for a free CelticFest MS Kickoff Party!  CelticFest Artists,  dancer Jackie O’Riley,  Finvarra’s Wren and Spirits of the House with Joey Abarta will perform starting at 7pm.  It’s your first chance to hear some selections from the new CD from Spirits, featuring Joey Abarta on uilleann pipes,  entitled,  The Empty Chair.

All musicians are welcome to sit in on a session afterward so please bring your instruments. The craic is sure to be mighty !

CHS Concert Series at The Fairview Inn Presents Dave Curley

Tuesday,  Feb. 20, 2018


$20 general Admission   $15 for CHS Members.

Available here on the website or at the door.

Admission price goes to the Artist so please come out and support amazing Irish musicians stopping off in Jackson!

Dave Curley is one of Ireland’s leading multi-instrumentalists, vocalists and a champion step dancer. Hailing from Co. Galway on the west coast of Ireland, Curley has brought his wealth of talents to the largest of stages in North America and Western Europe. He has performed at the prestigious Ryman auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee, recorded with Grammy award winners Ron Block, Jeff Taylor and Buddy Greene, and toured with Grammy award winners Moya Brennan of Clannad and Ross Holmes of Mumford and Sons. For 10 years, Curley has worked with the award winning traditional super group, SLIDE and also spent 5 successful years with award winning American Roots band RUNA. More recently, Curley has become an integral member to the new CRANNUA project featuring Moya Brennan, John Doyle, Ashley Davis, Mick McCauley plus Eamonn and Cormac DeBarra.


Happy New Year!

We’re pleased to announce more of our Lineup for CelticFest MS 2018!

Joining our Headliner ranks is Finvarra’s Wren from Michigan. Returning for the first time since 2012, we’re thrilled they’re making their way south again and bringing uilleann player Nick Brown. Their performances have been described as “a swirl of musical tradition and performance energy” (Matt Watroba, host of “Folks Like Us” on WDET).

We are so fortunate to have the wonderful Chambless & Muse from Alabama joining us this year! Described by Ed Miller- Scottish Recording Artist, Folklorist & Radio Host as having, “Exquisite vocals, oh-so-tasteful guitar and a lilting flute – a deceptively simple, beautiful and gentle combination!” We agree wholeheartedly and couldn’t be happier to have them!

We’re so pleased to announce that Jim Flanagan will be back with us! Jim has been part of the festival from the very beginning and honestly it would not be CelticFest without him! He provides a mix of both Irish language and English language songs; songs based in the old style (sean nós) tradition as well as contemporary ballads..

Spirits of the House The hometown group who keeps the Trad scene alive in Jackson! We’re excited to get to be the first to hear new music from Spirits from their upcoming cd entitled The Empty Chair featuring tracks with Joey Abarta on uilleann pipes. We’re in for a treat!

Our friends Celtic Crossroads with members spread around Mississippi are coming together once again to share the craic! Celtic Crossroads brings you songs from the silly to the serious with a good number of lively dance tunes thrown into the mix.

We’re excited to have the New Orleans Strathspey & Reel Society joining us this year! The New Orleans Strathspey & Reel Society was formed in 2001 to promote, preserve, and perform the Traditional music of Scotland and the surrounding Celtic regions. We’re so pleased they’re hopping on the train from the Crescent City to be with us!

The Old Ways from Oxford, Mississippi. Bringing together the multi-instrumentalist talents of Greg Johnson and vocalist/percussionist Shaundi Wall, this husband and wife duo blend their passion for Celtic music through tunes and songs both ancient and modern. This year, the Old Ways are proud to add vocalist Kate Lechler to the lineup.

More announcements coming soon!

Headliner Announcements!

The first of many performer announcements!

We are happy to announce that festival favorite Máirtín de Cógáin will be back this year with the Máirtín de Cógáin Project featuring our great friends Jil Chambless on flute and vocals along with the founder (and happily retired) former director of CelticFest MS, Don Penzien on guitar with fiddler phenom Haley Richardson.

Haley Richardson with Don Penzien will be taking the stage as well. Among Haley’s many accomplishments the most recent is as the 2017 All Ireland under 15 slow air champion. We are so fortunate to have her making her CelticFest debut!

Mississippi’s own Emerald Accent- Clark Lowery, Tom McCandlish and Gail Fox  will be debuting their new lineup this year featuring fiddler & singer Alexis Frenette.  We can’t wait for you to hear them!

We’re very pleased to be able to have the fantastic Beyond the Pale from Dallas, Texas back after many a long year! Longtime festival goers can tell you what a great time you’re in for!  

The Coyne Family from Boston.  If that name sounds familiar you’ll be recalling that John Coyne has been a long time CelticFest friend performing with Larre Reeves who will also be back!  We’re so pleased to have  persuaded the whole, incredibly talented family to make the journey this year!  Lisa Coyne on flute,  Josie Coyne on fiddle & Rory Coyne on accordion.  

Also making their CelticFest debut, we’re pleased to introduce you to  Pappy With A Hatchet from St. Louis.  Members Dan Lowery, Alan Murray, Kevin Buckley and Ian Walsh are well known in the Trad scene not only for their first class talent but also excellent band naming skills!          

We’re thrilled to have our great friend, uilleann piper Joey Abarta from Boston back with us this year.  Joey will be performing in a few different lineups as well as teaching workshops.  

We excited to have incredible sean-nós dancer, set and céilí teacher Jackie O’Riley from Boston with us. Jackie will be performing and teaching workshops.

Catherine Bishop, TCRG, TMRF.  Catherine received her certification to teach céilí & set dancing (TMRF)  as well as step dance (TCRG)  through An Coimisiún le Rincí Gaelacha (CLRG).  She has been the director and teacher for the Jackson Irish Dancers for many years so if you’re a longtime festival goer you know what a fantastic dancer she is! She will be performing as well as calling the Saturday night Céilí!

More announcements to come! Stay Tuned! 

Concert Series

The Concert Series at the Fairview Inn has been incredible so far and we are so excited to celebrate the New Year with you by presenting

Andrew Finn Magill with Alan  Murray

Sunday, January 14 at 7pm.

Finn first started playing fiddle at age 10 and by 16 was a two-time finalist at the All-Ireland championships. Joined by Glaswegian Alan  Murray on guitar and bouzouki this is going to be another great evening of Trad music at the gorgeous Fairview Inn.

Tickets are just $20 or $15 for CHS Members

Available here on our website or at the door. 
The menu from the Library Lounge will be available so your dinner is sorted!

This Concert Series is for the love of Celtic Music and bringing it to Jackson! All proceeds go to the Musicians so won’t you please come out and support them?  It also lets the CHS know you want us to continue bringing these world class musicians to town all year long. 

Here’s some clips to get you excited! 


Finn is a two-time finalist at the All-Ireland Championships. He has toured the U.S, Europe, Africa, and Brazil and performed with many Irish and Scottish luminaries from John Doyle to the Paul McKenna Band. In 2016, he released two discs, Roots, and Branches as part of a project that features many of the artists with whom he has collaborated with over the last ten years. Finn has served as an instructor in Irish fiddle at the Swannanoa Gathering for eight years and taught at a dozen other fiddle camps around the U.S.

Alan Murray hails from Glasgow in Scotland, where he was introduced to the tinwhistle at an early age. He eventually turned to the guitar as his primary instrument, and later expanded his arsenal to include the bouzouki. After studying instrument-building and repair in Glasgow, he moved to the US to further pursue his musical career. He was soon playing and recording with some of the best musicians on the New York Irish scene and was featured on 2012’s IMA nominated Manhattan Island Sessions recording. He has taught at the Catskills Irish Arts Week and Fairbanks Summer Arts Festival and appeared at such well-known events as Denmark’s Tønder Festival, Milwaukee Irish Fest and Celtic Connections. He has shared the stage with such artists as Karan Casey, Niall and Cillian Vallely, Eileen Ivers and Scotland’s Battlefield Band, and has toured extensively across Ireland, Britain, Europe, Australia and the United States.


The CHS Concert Series Continues!

Celtic Heritage Society & The Fairview Inn  present

Paul Brock Band  featuring

Paul Brock • Denis Carey 

 Shane Farrell • Eimear Arkins

Friday November 10, 2017

Join us for a great night of traditional Irish music, singing & maybe even a little dancing!


Button accordion and melodeon player Paul Brock is a multiple All-Ireland champion from Athlone, County Westmeath now residing in Ennis, County Clare. Brock co-founded Brock McGuire Band in 2000 with fiddle player Manus McGuire. The band has gone on to record a number of highly acclaimed albums including Green Grass Blue Grass, a collaboration with 14-time GRAMMY Award winner Ricky Skaggs celebrating the connection between Appalachian and Irish music. In 2014, the band performed a fully-scored program of their music with the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra in Jackson, Mississippi. Paul is joined in his band by leading Irish musicians Denis Carey, Shane Farrell and Eimear Arkins.

Denis Carey from Newport, Co Tipperary is a musician, composer and arranger. Denis is known for his solo work and as a member of the award-winning group, the Brock McGuire Band. He has performed and recorded with many well known artists nationally and internationally. His compositions have been performed and recorded by a wide variety of musicians including Symphony Nova Scotia in Canada, where he has played on many occasions and by the Scottish National orchestra. Denis is currently collaborating with leading Irish songwriter Brendan Graham (composer of many hits including, “You Raise Me up” and “Isle of Hope Isle of Tears”.

Shane Farrell is a multi-instrumentalist born in Manchester, UK to Irish parents. He grew up in a household steeped in traditional Irish music and started playing at 7 years of age. He quickly mastered mandolin, before progressing to banjo and fiddle. He has been performing live since the age of 12 with a variety of musicians and groups around the world including The Irish Rovers, Charlie & the Bhoys & Lúnasa. Shane was All Britain and All Ireland World Champion on Fiddle, Banjo & Mandolin on numerous occasions, and has won many awards playing with Ó Carolan Ceili Band.


Eimear Arkins is a multi-instrumentalist from Roan in County Clare. In addition to playing the fiddle, harp and tin whistle, Eimear is also an award-winning singer in both Irish and English and dancer. She holds 11 All-Ireland titles across a variety of competition categories and has toured extensively throughout Europe, Canada and North America with a number of bands, including Cherish the Ladies.



The Fairview Inn
734 Fairview St, Jackson, MS 39202

Doors open at 6pm
Come early for Cocktails and a nosh in The Library Lounge
Show at 7:30
CHS Members $15

Tickets available Here

1908 Provisions Restaurant serving Dinner from 5pm
The Library Lounge Menu will also be available

Questions about the concert can be directed to celticfestms@gmail.com

CelticFest MS Planning Meeting


The next meeting of the Celtic Heritage Society will be Sunday Oct 1, 2017

Fenian’s Pub  901 E. Fortification Street Jackson.

We’ll get rolling at 6pm following the Jackson Irish Dancers Céilí with live music from Emerald Accent. Come early and get your jig on! The céilí is from 4-6.
Open to all. Now is a great time to join us and to become part of making the next CelticFest MS a success!

Crawford, Farrell, Doocey – Special Concert – Sunday, September 24, 2017

The Celtic Heritage Society in partnership with The Fairview Inn is pleased to present a very special evening of outstanding Irish music!
Kevin Crawford, Colin Farrell and Patrick Doocey are on a limited tour and we are honored to have them in Jackson!
Sunday Sept 24, 2017
The Fairview Inn
734 Fairview St, Jackson, MS 39202

Cocktails in the Library Lounge 6pm followed by an intimate performance at 7pm.

$20 per person at the door.


Regarded by many as the world’s best traditional flute player, Kevin Crawford is best known through his work with Lúnasa, with whom he has played for the better part of 20 years. He also works extensively with Martin Hayes (The Gloaming) and John Doyle.

Kevin is joined by virtuoso fiddle player, Colin Farrell.  Farrell has worked with what reads like a who’s who of Ireland music’s top traditional artists, including Flook, Gráda, Karen Casey, John Doyle, Julie Fowlis, The Michael McGoldrick Band, and Lúnasa.

Rounding out the lineup is an All-Ireland winning multi-instrumentalist, Patrick Doocey. Patrick is one of Ireland’s most in-demand session musicians who has worked with Sharon Shannon, Liz Carroll, Lúnasa, Mary Chapin Carpenter, Téada, Buille, Cathal Hayden, Karan Casey, and singer Sean Keane.

Check out these videos:

Other links:




CelticFest MS is moving to March!

The Celtic Heritage Society is very pleased to announce that CelticFest Mississippi will be moving to the SPRING!!! The 26th Festival will take place the weekend after St. Patrick’s Day in March 2018 at the Mississippi Agriculture & Forestry Museum! The things you have loved about CelticFest in the Fall will continue including Kindred Spirits Whisky Tasting, Highland Games Demonstrations, Workshops, Vendors, Food, Dance performances, our famous Céilí and of course amazing Musicians… without all the heat! Mark your calendars NOW and please share with all your friends! ☘️

The Mostly Monthly Ceili will be Sunday, September 10, 4-6pm at Fenian’s Pub (901 E. Fortification St., Jackson MS 39202).  Music by Emerald Accent; dancing by Jackson Irish Dancers and YOU…and your kids, grandma, and neighbor who you’ve been wanting to catch up with.  Come one, come all!  It’s family-friendly and it’s free (we pass the hat for donations).

There will be a planning meeting this Sunday, September 10, after the ceili at 6pm, also at Fenian’s Pub.  We’d love to have your input as we plan for the spring festival!