The Celtic Heritage Alliance is pleased to report yet another successful Celtic Festival & Highland Games this year with a preliminary head count of 5,485 over the weekend – over 400 more than last year.
We are still collecting data and running our numbers, but it was clear from the crowds, ticket lines, and participation that this was a record attendance for this event.
Attendance was up at all of the “Fringe Friday” events such as the Kilted Run, which raised funds for the Lincoln County Animal Shelter, and the Sand Castle Contest which raised food donations for the local Snack Pack Program. The festival’s “Piping Down the Sun” was a hit attended by about 250 people and both the Whisky Tasting Seminar and Breton style Fest Noz community dance were enjoyed by many.
The festival sold out our vendor spaces early on with 34 retail vendors, 37 educational and 9 food vendors, and 20 Clans – all who bring the festival to life. Seats were packed to enjoy 37 live Celtic music and dance performances with newcomers “Murder the Stout” as a new crowd favorite.
Others were entertained by the Cascade Hurling Club’s match, Celtic Heritage Parade, Haggis Eating Competition, Celtic Fashion Show, Bonnie Knees Contest, Welsh Skillet Toss, Yaquina Fiber Arts Guild and, of course, the Wolston Farm Sheepdog Herding Demos. Kids enjoyed a myriad of arts, crafts, face painting, storytelling and mini Highland Games at “Sprog’s Corner.”
51 Highland Games Athletes came from California, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Alaska and even Texas to compete. Local novice competitor and former Olympian, Adam Kriz took 2nd place in this, his first-ever, Highland Games competition. Three State Champions from Washington, Oregon and Idaho entered this year. Returning National Champion, Mark Wechter and newcomer and two time World Champion Lightweight, Jeff Thornton, both took 1st in their respective divisions while 15 year old novice, Hailey Mowell, took 4th in her first Highland Games competition. Stats are now posted online at NASGA (Click Here).
The Celtic Heritage Alliance wishes to thank all patrons and participants and the event’s 45 sponsors, 75 volunteers, businesses who donated prizes, announced the festival on their web pages and sign boards, our service providers, and those who supported us in every way possible including the staff at Lincoln County. Additional thanks to the Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce for allowing CHA the use of their sandwich board signs and trash cans for this event and to the Destination Newport Committee for marketing funds.
Fans can find festival photos on the Newport Celtic Festival & Highland Games Facebook page and Exit Surveys for this year’s festivities can be located online for patrons and participants to offer their feedback at www.newportcelticfestival.com.
Get an early start on next year’s festival! Don’t wait to become a vendor, sponsor or performer. New forms will be up by July 1st, 2013 and next year’s festival is slated for June 13, 14 & 15, 2014.
President / Executive Director