Did you know that today more than 44 million Americans claim Irish heritage? The first Celtic immigrants, who were of Scottish and Irish decent, arrived in the Lehigh Valley circa 1728 from the northern providence of Ulster. Today the Scottish, Irish, Welsh and Cornish remain a dominant force, comprising nearly 30% of the Lehigh Valley population.
This weekend marks the 23rd annual Celtic Classic presented by the Celtic Cultural Alliance. Music, food, dance, athletes, piping bands, theatre, film, contests are all part of a variety of activities to explore over the weekend. I hear that this year, the athletes may be breaking some world records. If you’ve never seen a caber toss; it’s kind of like throwing a telephone pole for distance. But it only counts if the pole is flipped. And… the men compete in kilts.
News for local tech freaks: the first ever mobile app for an area festival was developed and launched last week. This can be uploaded for free for all iPhone and Android users by typing http://www.celtifest.org on your mobile browser. If you’re a geek like me, you’ll love to see how this helps you plan your Celtic Classic experience. If you don’t have one of the phones, check out the bands listed and give them a little listen. The music ranges from traditional to outrageous. Don’t miss the closing act – the No, that’s not a typo.
The festival grounds are just over the river. You’ll see the tents from either Hill to Hill or Fahy bridge. If walking is too far for you, Lehigh students can also purchase a Loop Bus pass and ride all day for just $3. Here’s a map to show you where to hop on the bus. If you want to really get inside the festival, they are still looking for volunteers. Each 4 hour volunteer shift gets you a t-shirt and $5 of food and beverage tickets. They also have a special request for anyone able to lift 30lbs – if you want to be close to the action, give me a call.