Highland Games, Traditional Foods, Music, Dance, and more at Genesee Country Village & Museum’s Annual Celtic Faire
The sounds of fiddles, bagpipes, and bodhrans will fill the 19th-centrury village and Great Meadow at Genesee Country Village & Museum’s annual Celtic Faire, coming up Saturday, June 10, and Sunday, June 11, from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. Visitors will find a pan-Celtic celebration of heritage music, dance, and authentic food and drink, with an artisan fair, clan booths, Highland Games, historic weaponry workshops, Irish dancing, a talk about tartan in the John L. Wehle Gallery, and more. Tickets for the Celtic Faire are on sale now at https://www.gcv.org/event/celtic-faire-2/ - purchasing tickets online in advance is recommended to get an early-bird discount (there is a small additional fee for tickets purchased day-of online and at the door). The Celtic Faire is sponsored by Sage Rutty.
Music and Dance
Visitors will enjoy the sounds of A Bit of Irish Street Band and Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann of Rochester while exploring the Museum grounds. Listen as the campus echoes with the thrum of traditional pipe and drum melodies as played by Celtic Spirit Pipe Band, Feadán Òr, Gates Keystone Club Police Pipes & Drums, and Buffalo Niagara Scotia Society Pipes & Drums. Watch lively demonstrations by ROCeltic, Rochester Academy of Irish Dance, and Royal Scottish Country Dance Society of Buffalo. Plus, visitors will have the opportunity to explore Welsh folklore, dance, music, and culture with guest Ruthanne Ankney.
Exploring Pan-Celtic Traditions
From the Scottish Highlands, Emerald Isles, and rugged Welsh coastline to the Genesee Valley, Celtic traditions and roots run deep. Visit the booths of a number of Scottish clans represented in the Greater Rochester area to learn more about family history and lineage. Clans present will include: Clan Baird, Clan Blair, Family of Bruce International, Clan Cumming Society of the United States of America, Daughters of Scotia, Lady Douglas #126, Clan Ferguson (Sunday only), House of Gordon, Clan Hall Society, Clan Keith, Clan MacNachtan Association Worldwide, Clan Menzies, Clan O’Keefe, Scottish Heritage Society of the Rochester NY Area, Clan Sinclair, and Clan Stuart. After learning about family history at the clan booths, visit the John L. Wehle Gallery to explore samples of tartan and historic garments from the Susan Greene Costume Collection on display.
Highland Games and Feats of Strength
Circle around the Great Meadow to experience the fierce competition that is traditional Highland Games. Cheer on the Buffalo Heavies as they compete in historical Scottish demonstrations of strength, agility, and skill. Don't miss the Adult Sheaf Toss (Sunday at 3 p.m.. $5 fee applies), and youth Irish football and hurling clinics with Roc City Gaelic and Buffalo Fenians GAA at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. daily.
Food and Drink
Enjoy a scotch egg or a turkey leg and a historical craft beer (brewed by Rohrbach Brewing Co. referencing 19th-century beer recipes) from the Freight House Pub, or venture out into the festival to try specialty food vendors, including Dottie’s Lemonade, The Haggis Hut, and Infamous Welsh Cookie Co. The Historic Confectionery’s Bread Cart will be out in the Village with a variety of warm, freshly baked breads, and the D.B. Munger & Co. Confectionery will be open, featuring a number of 19th-century baked goods. Plus, explore cooking demonstrations in historic homes and enjoy a tastings of Galician-style filloas and shortbread, or stop by Hosmer’s Inn to enjoy a tea house!
Historical Weaponry Classes
On Sunday, June 11, visitors to the Celtic Faire will have the opportunity to join Neutral Chaos founders Jason Paul Tate and Robert Aronowitz for a historical weapons workshop series. These HEMA and SAFD-certified instructors will present a blend of intensive combat training, martial arts, and stage craft, paired with an exploration of Celtic mythology. Classes available will highlight sword, shield, and broadsword. Please note: participants in Historical Weaponry Classes must be at least 16 years of age, and tickets for these classes must be purchased online in advance as an add-on to Celtic Faire admissions tickets.
Around the Historic Village
A ticket to the Celtic Faire also includes admission to the Historic Village at GCV&M. Explore buildings throughout the Historic Village to find a number of trades, demonstrations, and activities related to Celtic heritage in the Genesee Valley region. Learn about skirting fleeces and sheep shearing on the Pioneer Farm, see Irish flax processing, spinning linen, and dyeing at Keiffer House, smell Irish soda bread baking in the Livingston Backus Kitchen, explore Irish crochet and Celtic lace demonstrations in the Town Hall, and more.
“Tartan and Plaid Mania” in the John L. Wehle Gallery
On Saturday, June 10, at 1:30 p.m., visitors will have the opportunity to attend a curator-hosted talk in the John L. Wehle Gallery: “Tartan and Plaid Mania.” This talk traces the history and tradition that is plaid and tartan, exploring this fabric taken the world by storm, and how has it changed over the ages. The program is paired with plaid and tartan items from 19th-century America, and will be hosted by Brandon Brooks, curator of the John L. Wehle Gallery. Admission to the John L. Wehle Gallery, and Saturday’s Gallery Talk, is included in general Museum admission.
Shop Specialty Vendors and Artisans
Shop our artisan market to find everything from kilts, to traditional Welsh cookies, to jewelry and knits. Featured artisans and vendors include:
Purchase tickets online in advance and save
Tickets for Celtic Faire are currently available online at https://www.gcv.org/event/celtic-faire-2/. Purchasing tickets in advance is recommended to get the early bird discount – there will be a small additional fee for tickets purchased day-of at the door and online. Celtic Faire tickets are $23 for adults, $20 for seniors (62+), $20 for students (13 – 18), $17 for youth (12 and under), and children under 2 are free when purchased online before midnight on Friday, June 9. Museum Members can attend Celtic Faire for FREE and are guaranteed admission. Click here to learn more about becoming a GCV&M Member.
Tickets and more information about upcoming events can be found online at https://www.gcv.org/events/.