KVMR Celtic Festival

The 22nd annual KVMR Celtic Festival is coming to the Nevada County Fairgrounds in Grass Valley next weekend (September 28th-30th).  The slogan for the event is “Come for the music, stay for the magic” and if you’ve never been, it’s time to go experience the event first hand.  To kick off the festivities this year the Celtic Festival is hosting a Royal Tournament & Gathering of the Clans.  The medieval tournament will feature full contact jousting, dancing horses, sword fights and hand to hand combat presented by the Imperial Knights.  Honors to the winners will be presented by the King, Queen and their royal attendants.

This year’s headline musicians include: The Elders, Seamus Egan Project, Connla, Heron Valley, Na Rósaí, Black Brothers, Galen Fraser Trio, Anni McCann & Paul Emery, House of Hamill, The Rayos, Matthew Byrne, Cassidy Joy & Friends.

While the multiple stages provide plenty of opportunity to enjoy Celtic music, the event also has Scottish athletic games, marketplace, animals of the Celtic Lands, Living History, Kid’s area, Youth Arts, workshops and parades, traditional dance and lots of great food and beverages.  For a full list of the schedule click here, festival gates are open Saturday 10am-10pm and 10am-8pm on Sunday.  Are you planning on going?  What was your favorite part about the event?  Post a comment on this blog post and I’ve got 2 one-day passes to give away, winner will be announced on Monday, September 24th.  Many thanks to Lenkaland Photography for sharing some additional photos from last year’s festivities.  **Edited to say the winner is Vanessa.

© 2018 InnSide Nevada City, © Photos by Erin Thiem and Lenkaland Photography

27 replies
  1. Ingrid Knox
    Ingrid Knox says:

    We have our tickets for this year. I hate to say that one of my favorite parts is the food – things we only get once a year. But listening to great music while in a lounge chair on the grass is pretty fabulous too.

  2. Vickie
    Vickie says:

    I can’t believe I’ve never been! I would love to see the jousting and take in the beauty of this culture.
    I have a grandson that would be so into this event.

  3. Alison Harms
    Alison Harms says:

    My husband and I have always wanted to join in the fun and go to the Celtic Festival! The jousting and dancing horses sound wonderful. I recently found out I have family from Scotland so this would be a great way to learn even more about their culture and my heritage!

  4. Annie Hestbeck
    Annie Hestbeck says:

    Thank you Erin ! Folks, don’t forget the Free Youth Art Workshops on Friday evening. Kids from 10 to 18 can avail of a short magic, music or dance workshop and get a ticket to the Celtic Festival for only $% !

  5. Hindi Greenberg
    Hindi Greenberg says:

    I went to the Celtic Festival some years back, when it was only one full day and evening, and I particularly remember the falconers and birds of prey–very cool. It would be fun to go and see how the festival has expanded in depth and breadth.

  6. Joleen
    Joleen says:

    My family and I have been going to the KVMR Celtic festival for 7 years. We go every year so my kids can be part of the music. KVMR hosts a kid’s workshop on Friday with some of the headlining musicians. My kids always have such a great time. A couple of years ago my daughter got to be on the main stage with The Elders! That is my favorite part. Watching my kids be inspired by and participate in the amazing music that this festival brings to our community.

  7. kat
    kat says:

    Yes — we have gone to Celtic since before living here!! We LOVE it. My favorite is just the super holding energy of the whole festival … there’s so much fun, dancing, amazing music, great booths, and yummy food .. and all of it contained in such a dear vibe! I volunteer each year setting up the beer booth on Friday .. a fun way for the festival to start early! I’d love tix tho’ so i can bring more peeps with me!!

  8. Alicia Alonso
    Alicia Alonso says:

    We love Celtic festivals! The music, the food (especially the haggis;) the magic, the athletics, all of it! My husband is always looking for a reason to wear his kilt

  9. Becky Skolak
    Becky Skolak says:

    I still have fond memories of the first time I made it to the Celtic Festival. The music drew me in and my friend and I spent the day listening with toes tapping and then danced for hours into the night. Still one of my favorite fairgrounds festivals. I can’t wait to share the experience with my own little ones: maybe this will be the year we make it back. It would be utterly magical for a two year old.

  10. Rachel C
    Rachel C says:

    I am planning on taking my little girl to the Celtic festival this year….She has never been and I know she would love it! My favorite part of the festival is definitely seeing everyone dressed up in costumes. It brings back a lot of great memories for me when I was a child because the school I went to growing up had a renaissance fair every year. Can’t wait!

  11. Daisy S
    Daisy S says:

    I love the way the Celtic Fest seems to magically transform the fairgrounds into the stuff of legend. Such fun for people of all ages!

  12. April
    April says:

    We’ve missed this event for the past few years but have really enjoyed the KVMR stream. We’d love a chance to attend in person this year!

  13. Christi Coffet
    Christi Coffet says:

    Did you know that the vikings are responsible for introducing the red-hair gene to the celts?
    I learned this from a vendor at the Celtic Festival years ago.
    And I’m sorry for the bad behavior of my ancestors…
    A Norwegian who married and Irishman

  14. Lynn
    Lynn says:

    I love the music and cultural activities…plus the food. The Celtic Festival is really a gem for our community!

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