Springtime in St Augustine FL is just wonderful. Flowers bloom, the fish jump about, the beaches sparkle. It is also the time when tourists and locals alike join in anxious anticipation of St. Patrick’s Day week, when everyone in town will be sport’n their best green attire, emerald beads, enormous sunglasses, and shamrock-covered hats.
Starting things off on Friday, March 8, at 6:30 pm is the Celtic Festival Whiskey Tasting. Just 30 tickets available for this exclusive event. Tickets are $30 and include five offerings and one general admission festival ticket.
The fun continues on Saturday morning, March 9, at 10 am, with our famous St. Patty’s Day Parade! Bask in the bayfront breezes while the beautiful floats roll by. The parade delights people of all ages, but even if parades aren’t your thing, what the parade leads to surely will tickle your fancy-- the Annual Celtic Music and Heritage Festival!
After the parade, the crowd will move on to St. Francis Field, where Romanza (a nonprofit organization whose mission is to promote and produce performing arts and cultural events that celebrate the romantic splendor of St. Augustine) transforms the field into an Irish and Scottish 2-day feast for all of your senses! Live bands provide the backdrop of traditional tunes while you enjoy authentic Celtic cuisine. If you’re in the market for traditional Celtic designed goodies, this is the place to go!
In case you’re wondering about the difference between this and every other event at St. Francis Field, that would be the Scottish Highland Games! Whether you’re a strength beast, an athlete, or just want to try something new, you’ll want to spend some time at the Celtic Festival! The Scottish Highland Games have been a tradition in Scotland since the 11th century in, of course, The Highlands, and many areas in still Scotland celebrate this annual event.
St. Augustine games will include Open Stone Put and Braemar Stone Put, both similar to the Olympic Shot Put, where one takes a large stone and cradles it to the neck, spins, and throws the stone for distance. Ther Breamar Stone is shot with shotter stationary. Maybe throwing a 16-pound burlap bag with a pitchfork (for height) is more your speed, in which case you’ll want to sign up for the Sheaf Toss. Click here for a list of all the events and to register!
The Entertainment? Only the best!
Albannach features a championship piper and super-talented and savvy drummers and bodhran musicians with a new approach to percussion and Celtic music. If you watch this clip, you’ll want to see them in person for sure!
The Wobbly Toms are a St. Augustine bad, comprised of a bunch of good-time boys who like to bring the foot stomping, jig inducing, sing along inspiring, order me another round type of revelry to every party they play! They are steeped in the mountain music of greater Appalachia, imbibed in the Irish Drinking songs of yore, pickled in the fantastic gypsy tradition and toasted just enough to bring a modern edge to it all. Here they are playing at the Ponte Vedra Concert Hall.
The Tannahill Weavers are one of Scotland's premier traditional bands. Their diverse repertoire spans the centuries with fire-driven instrumentals, topical songs, and original ballads and lullabies. Their music demonstrates to old and young alike the rich and varied musical heritage of the Celtic people, and you can watch them here!
Rathkeltair brings you the ultimate Celtic roots rock experience with catchy original songs. Rathkeltair features three veteran road-warriors from England, Northern Ireland and America. Noted singer-songwriter/guitarist Trevor Tanner, former front man for The Bolshoi, a mainstay of the UK club scene at the height of the MTV era and the subject of a rabid international underground cult following, writes most of the band's original material. Drummer Nick Watson (formerly of the Field Marshal Montgomery Pipe Band) and bagpiper/multi-instrumentalist Neil Anderson are two of the original members of Clan Na Gael (7 Nations), the NYC-based band that kicked off the "kilt rock" phenomenon in the US in the mid-90's and inspired many of the groups working in that genre today.
The Dublin City Ramblers have been tagged "Ireland's No.1 Ballad & Folk Group Of The Year" by The Irish Country Music Association. They have performed at every major venue in Ireland and abroad, including Dublin's National Stadium, National Concert Hall, Cork's Opera House, England's Royal Albert Hall, New York's Carnegie Hall and any other venue you care to mention. They have been honored on several occasions by being given the Keys to the cities of Ft Lauderdale and Hollywood (Florida) and Moorehead, Kentucky. They have been around for a long time; check out an early performance here!
Click here for the full music lineup!
Participating food vendors this year include Black Jack Gril, Cameron’s British Foods, Fun Time Foods, Highland Glenn Foods, The Infamous Welsh Cookie Co., House of Douglas Scottish Bakery, and The Scottish Cottage. Merchandise vendors will include 720 Glassworks, Altruistic LLC, Celtic Bag Company, The Celtic Exchange, Celtic Roar, Clovers & Clothes, Colleen's Celtic Cove, The Compleat Knight, The Ear Vinery, Faire Isle Trading Co., Fairy Beautiful, Irish Wish Bracelets, Moon Mountain Clothing, and Onora Island Treasurer Boxes. The Kids Zone will feature Cowboy Attractions and Moonlit Oaks Ranch (Dexter’s Cattle). View full list.
Click the Celtic Festival logo to the left to purchase your tickets!
On March 15 and 17, Derek Coghlan brings to the Pioneer Barn stage his one-man show, "Nobody in my family ever wore a Kilt" that examines the great, ordinary lunacy of growing up in the middle of nowhere in the middle of Ireland in the 1970s and 80s. Coghlan riffs on the ubiquity of familial dysfunction and the Irish obsession with words; contrasts the Irish diaspora with its unique sense of place; explodes the myths and legends of Ireland that so many Americans read as gospel and does it all with tongue firmly planted in cheek. Read more.
Also on March17, Matchbox Twenty will perform at St. Augustine Amphitheatre!
Ann O'Malley's Event Calendar includes some fun stuff that week! Monday Thanks Day (50% off food & drink for Military, EMT, Firefighter, Law Enforcement Then for Everyone - Wear your O’Malley’s shirt and get your first beer free!); Tuesday is CelticOpen Mic day with Smokin’ Joe (first draft free to performers); Thursday is Celtic Trivia (O'Malley's bucks awarded to the top 3 teams); Saturday is Kilt Night (first draft free); and on St. Patrick’s Day there will be live music and fun all day long!
Let this St Augustine bed and breakfast cover your lodging needs. At Bayfront Westcott House B&B, we will coordinate your every wish and spoil you every second!