Sometimes stormy skies did not deter fans of all things Celtic on Saturday, August 8 , in downtown Rockford. Organizer Chris Murphy said she was nervous at first because of the stormy weather, but Celtic fans must be true die-hards. “By afternoon it was packed and shoulder-to-shoulder,” she said. “Both stages were busy the whole day. We believe the turnout was as good as it was last year.” Last year 5,000 to 10,000 people visited. Photos by Tom Scott
Event has ‘best music lineup ever’ Started in 1996, Celtic Festival in downtown Rockford continues to draw thousands, and this year—with what organizer Chris Murphy calls ‘the best music lineup ever’—is sure to be a crowd pleaser. On Saturday, August 8, Celtic festivities run from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. It is the only free Celtic festival in the state and last year drew an estimated 5,000 to 10,000 visitors to downtown Rockford. There will be 20 acts, either music or dance, on two stages in the 12-hour festival. Enjoy food, Celtic-related item vendors and live action by knights and assorted characters provided by the Society of Creative Anachronism (SCA). Typically the SCA members move through the crowd in dress costume, as knights, fairies, and other interesting personas. This year Murphy said a kilt maker will likely be on hand and in past years there have been displays of wool spinning, metal work and other skills of bygone eras. The staple beer tent will offer Budweiser and Guinness. Murphy is tickled to have the band The Kreellers playing during the event. The world-class band just completed music for Fuji batteries. Another top entertainment is the band The Waxies, which just won the Celtic Battle of the Bands. The Grand Rapids District Pipe Band will return for two shows.