Celtic history, culture, food and music are to be celebrated by attendees at the Florida Keys Celtic Festival, a favorite family event in the Middle Keys. The 2022 event is set for Friday through Sunday, Jan. 7-9, after a one-year hiatus due to coronavirus concerns in early 2021.
Celtic rock and traditional musicians are scheduled including Scottish band Albannach, Southwest Florida’s West of Galway, and Irish performers Byrne Brothers and the high-energy four-sister group The Screaming Orphans.
Friday, Jan. 7, a “Kilts in the Keys” celebration with ales, spirits, raffles and door prizes kicks off the weekend, featuring Irish music by the West of Galway duo with a guest appearance by the Police Pipe & Drum Corps of Florida. Festivities are set for 5-7 p.m. at Dockside Boot Key Harbor, located at 35 Sombrero Blvd.
Traditional highlights of the weekend event include the bagpipes and drums of the Police Pipe & Drum Corps and Blue Skye Pipes and Drums — the world’s only all-female pipe and drum corps — a Highland Athletics competition, sheep herding demonstrations and performances by Drake Irish Dance School. All events are open for public viewing.
Celtic merchandise, offerings by local vendors, activities for children and authentic Celtic food and beverages including an Irish Tea Garden round out the weekend’s festivities.
The festival takes place at the Marathon Community Park, mile marker 49. Hours are 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday.
Single-day admission tickets are available for Saturday or Sunday for $10 per person or $15 for a two-day pass. Children age 12 and under are admitted free with a paying adult. Parking is free.