My Experience at Celtic Fest
This past weekend would be the second year in a row that I attended Celtic Fest. After last years experience I had to come again. This year my friends and I have been looking forward to this event since we arrived at school in late August.
Unfortunately this past Saturday I had to wake up at 6:30 am to wake up for lacrosse practice. We just couldn’t wait until practice was over. After practice and the lifting session was over, it was back over the mountain and preparing to get ready for celtic fest. I hopped in the shower and tried my best to represent Irish heritage and put on as much green as I could. So I thought I thought how could I do it any better by wearing my New York Jets Jersey. As for my roommate Casey he was completely prepared for Celtic Fest. The prior year at Celtic Fest my roommate was on a mission to find himself a kilt to wear. He found one and ended up spending ninety dollars on it. So he was going to wear his exotic looking kilt all day. Before we do anything socially we always hangout at my house and usually play video games and have a couple casual sodas. While we were doing this I think the song shipping up to Boston by the Dropkick Murphys was played over ten times. Then it was time for us to make our journey over the bridge and head over to kick off our day.
After a very long walk over to the north side of Bethlehem we all finally arrived at Celtic Fest. We were greeted by the amazing sounds of bagpipes, the great smell of turkey legs and chicken potpie and the roar of people cheering on the many games that were occurring at the main field. We were like little kids in a candy shop and we had no clue what we wanted to do first. We decided we had to start of with a refreshment and a turkey leg. The turkey legs were the best we ever had and they were the size of a football. It was so big that I could barely finish it I had to give it to one of my buddies to finish it off. After we ate we headed over to the Highland field to watch many of the cool games they had. The sheaf and caber toss were my favorite. The sheaf toss is when a pitchfork is used to hurl a burlap bag stuffed with straw over a designated height. That was just a warmup until I saw what the caber toss was. The caber toss is when competitors toss a large pole and it mustve been twenty feet high. Both of these events were exciting to watch. They were so great I had to know more about these games. I ended up having a conversation with a man that worked at Celtic fest and he gave me many interesting facts about both these competitions. I learned that the Caber toss is practiced in the Scottish Highland Games and is a very competitive among its athletes.
After spending time at Highland field we made our way over to the food tents. I felt like it was a never ending sight of white food tents. Hundreds of vendors were selling many different types of food and after looking at all the I wanted to try as much as I could. So my second meal in about 3 hours I ended up getting a chicken pot pie which is one of my all time favorite foods. We decided to enjoy our food at one of the main tents where they were holding live music all day. The music and atmosphere in the grand pavilion was like no other. People were up in front dancing and singing with plenty of smiles on there face. I know that I went up their and tried not to embarrass myself too much. After spending much time listening to the live music we decided that it was time for some good old fun with some jameson shots. I don’t think they’re that much fun at all especially that it never goes down smoothly at all.
After filling ourselves with some Jameson, all of us wanted to get something at the retail stores so we had something to remember celtic fest. They had everything from swords and knifes to t-shirts and kilts. I was all over the place and didn’t know if I wanted to go simple and get a t-shirt or get something a lot bigger. While I went with the simple t-shirt my friends went with stuff that was more flashy and a little bit more expensive. My roommate Matt saw a Katana and he pulled the trigger and bought. You can say that when we got home he couldn’t stop swinging that thing at unopened water bottles. My other roommate Casey went with something a little smaller which was a Eagle Bowie knife. This blade had an engraved handle and came with a display wood case to keep it in. Now that I look back Im kinda jealous and should have got something else besides my t-shirt. Well I did! I ended up going back on Sunday to buy myself a bowie knife from one of the vendors. So after breaking into our wallets we decided it was time to pack everything up and head back over to the south side and get a nap in. But before we did that we bought some great cigars to walk with on the trip back home.
Since 1998 the Celtic Cultural Alliance has been hosting the Celtic Highland Games and Festival in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. This event and organization has been promoting and preserving the Celtic Culture. This being my second year at Celtic Fest I can say that I have learned a lot about the Celtic Culture that I never knew before. Instead of doing a day drink in a Fraternities backyard I had a great change of pace for the weekend. I was able to get away from school and all my stresses for the day. Enjoying the live music and food with the community was an amazing experience. I would recommend this to anyone in the lehigh valley looking for something to do with their friends and family. I’m looking forward to coming back next year and enjoying this great experience with my friends again. If anyone needs any information on the Celtic Fest you can visit their website here www.celticfest.org.