Thank You 2018!

It was, by all accounts, a pretty amazing Fest! The music, dancing, games & vendors were fantastic and we had pretty decent weather.  A little breezy.  Okay,  the wind kicked up at times but no rain and that is a blessing for any festival.   On behalf of the CHS Board we would like to offer our sincere appreciation to everyone who made this year happen.  The attempt to name everyone would make this a very, very long post. Know that we are indebted to you all!

We will shout out to our Sponsors as well as partners Fenian’s Pub, Great Southern Events & Capital Cities Beverages.  Much thanks!  The staff of the MS Ag Museum who mentioned many times that they really love CelticFest and proved it by their hard work as well as the crack Security Team who made sure the shenanigans were kept to the family friendly level.  

Our much appreciated friends & sponsors, Perry Launius & Nick Lord from Wine & Spirits in the Quarter and all their staff and Reps for another fantastic Kindred Spirits Whisky Tasting.

The ladies most people didn’t see but without whom there would have been some hangry performers- the catering duo of Julie Tipton & Beverly Johnston and their tireless helpers (who also happen to be their respective kids).

To the stellar crew from Griffin Media lead by James Griffin who provided not only the wonderful & professional sound management but also a live feed on their facebook page of performances on the main stage as well as recorded video and the beautiful stage set up.

To ALL the incredible Musicians, Dancers & Athletes who came from near and far to share their talent with we mere mortals.  We all know it’s not a festival without you and we’re grateful!

To the volunteers beginning with the Board of the Celtic Heritage Society: Terry Baldridge, James Griffin, Keegan Burt, Tammy Vaughan, Tammy Arthur, Mac Buntin, David Keary, Clark Lowery,  Harvey Kimble and CHS members, Maggie Cupples, Catherine Sherer Bishop & Bob Mamrak and of course Dianne Stefanick & Don Butts who all  worked diligently to pull it off.  To all those who missed the music when they were pouring beer, selling t-shirts (they sold out by the way!) and working the armband table, can’t happen without any of you.  I really want to say a special thank you to the few brave & amazing people who,  even without the heat of September,  were still sweaty blobs setting everything up, working the fest (some even performing in between)  and then tearing it all down. YOU ROCK!

Lastly,  I would like to personally express my gratitude to Don Penzien, Jil Chambless, Máirtín de Cógáin, Steve Payne, Rob Millette, Steve Whitlow, Chuck Bishop, Catherine Koehler, Greg Johnson, Shaundi Wall, Debbie Kreiser, Bill Rogers, Clark Lowery, Tom McCandlish and Elizabeth Doss who know what organizing a festival entails, and in addition to every member of the Board, were all very encouraging to me throughout.

We think we like the Spring so look for us again next year and tell a friend please!

We also think there are some things we can do better and we’re going to chat about that at our AfterFest meeting. You’re invited to come and offer your two cents which is most likely worth a pound of gold!   It’s Sunday April 8th- 6pm at Fenian’s Pub after the Jackson Irish Dancers’ Mostly Monthly Céilí with live music from awesome fest performers, Emerald Accent.  The céilí starts at 4pm, it’s free and all ages are welcome!

Thank you!

Suezen Brown                                                                                                                                    Celtic Heritage Society, President

Highland Games Demonstrations at CelticFest 2018

We’re excited to announce that the Highland Games Demonstrations will offer the opportunity for Festival Goers to give it a go! This is not necessarily meant for experienced athletes although we won’t turn you away.  It’s more geared for anyone who ever thought that it would be fun to try.
A waiver MUST be signed and if you drop a caber on your foot you need to know we won’t be held responsible. You should have health insurance to cover you or we would suggest you just stay a spectator.

The Waiver is here.

Athletic Waiver

You can download and sign it or pick one up at the CHS (Celtic Heritage Society Booth). Identification will be required to sign a waiver.

Kilt not required but if you have one- we DON”T go full regimental at CelticFest.

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.