First Scranton Celtic Festival at Snö Mountain
Our area’s deep Irish heritage is celebrated every March with multiple events, parades and dinners across the region. Now we can add a Celtic festival every May to the long list of ways our area embraces its cultural ties with the Emerald Isle.
The Irish Cultural Society, Ballina-Scranton Sister City Committee, the AOH Division 4 “Hook O’Malley”, and AOH Division 1 “JFK” will host the first annual Scranton Celtic Festival at Sno Mountain on Saturday, May 19, at noon and Sunday, May 20, at 11 a.m. Irish eyes will be smiling all weekend long, rain or shine.
The Celtic festival will be a family oriented event featuring live Irish bands and step dancers, Celtic vendors, and plenty of activities for children. The planning committee decided this year would be as good a time as any to start hosting a Celtic Festival in northeastern Pennsylvania, and planned the weekend within a very busy five months.
“The Irish Cultural Society has always wanted to host a festival like this,” said Jude McDonough, publicity director. “The AOH and Sister City Committee came in to lend a hand and it took about five months of planning. Luckily, everything did come together. We needed a little luck and we got it.”
The festival aims to be a weekend of good family fun with many attractions for the little ones such as pony rides and face painting. Sno Cove will also have several amenities readily available for the crowd.
For those without children, McDonough and the rest of the committee members wanted to offer an alternative to a typical weekend. “It’s going to be something very different for the area. We all fall into a routine and we wanted to offer something different for people right in their backyard.”
Attendees will be able to kiss the Blarney Stone of Scranton, view a small replica of Blarney castle and Blarney Gardens and scale the Cliffs of Mohr, a 25-foot rock climbing structure. There will also be a tasting room featuring Bushmills Whiskey, the oldest whiskey in Ireland.
Authentic Irish entertainment will be provided by The Canny Brothers Band, The Irish Balladeers, Seamus Kennedy, The Dadley Brothers, Donny Brook, The Kerry Boys, The Dunmore Ceili Band, Old Friends, Timlan & Kane, The Gallagher School of Irish Dancing, Kelly Pratt, The Salmon Brothers, Donnybrook, The Wyoming Valley Pipe & Drum Band and more.
“We are really hoping the crowd will like what we do and since Scranton has such a great Irish community, I really think they will,” said Stephen Canny of the Brooklyn-based act The Canny Brothers Band. “The best part of playing festivals like the Scranton Celtic Festival is seeing the other bands and musicians. We’re planning on getting there early to catch as much music as we can.”
— tom graham
The First Annual Scranton Celtic Festival will be held at Sno Mountain and Sno Cove on Saturday, May 19, from noon to 9 p.m., and Sunday, May 20, from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is $10. Children 12 and under are admitted free. Tickets will be available at the event and online at www.scrantoncelticfest.com. Tickets purchased online will be available at the Will Call office.