The Celtic gods were smiling down on the 12th annual Cortland Celtic Festival last weekend. After a summer of hot, humid weather, a cold front passed through and left a perfect day for the upstate New York festival.
This was the first year for the Cortland Celtic Festival at Dwyer Memorial Park in Little York, New York. A picturesque public park eight miles north of Cortland with a wide field for the Highland Games, plenty of space for food and merchandise vendors, pavilions for entertainment and shady picnic areas for visitors.
Even more picturesque were the colorful Clans people wearing their traditional dress in attendance.
A whole day of Highland Games included heavy stone throwing, hammer throw, sheaf and caber toss. There was a mix of veterans and rookies competing which made for some exciting moments in the caber toss.
Musical entertainment is always a big part of a Celtic festival. For bagpipes, the Caledonian Pipe & Drum Band of Buffalo kicked things off at the opening ceremonies. For traditional and non-traditional music, I enjoyed the sounds of Doolin O’Dey and Falls Road.
There was quite a variety of food on hand. Turkey legs (aka Caveman Pops), meat pies, roasted corn, BBQ turkey, dessert crepes, grilled cheese sandwiches, ice cream and maple treats and plenty of beer on tap. No one could complain about being hungry.
The Cortland Celtic Festival is a fun and enjoyable way to celebrate Scottish traditions and games a short twenty minute drive on Interstate 81 South from Syracuse. Mark your calendars for the 2013 festival on August 24 & 25.