By Cowboy State Daily
Anyone with a taste for Celtic music, food and fun or a fake Scottish accent they want to show off should head for Evanston this weekend to take part in the city’s Ceili at the Roundhouse Celtic Festival.
The two-day festival, now in its 11th year, features traditional Irish music by bands from Ireland and Scotland, along with performances by regional bands, workshops on Celtic crafts and music and the opportunity to sample Celtic food and drink.
The Ceili (the Gaelic word for “party”) focuses on all Celtic cultures, not just the Irish or Scottish, said Carolee Bowen, executive director of The Arts Inc., the group organizing the celebration.
“Celtic is much more than Irish,” she said. “It’s really diversified Celtic, not just Irish or Scottish.”
The event was launched in 2009 as a way to draw visitors to Evanston and Bowen said it has succeeded, largely because of the broad variety of events offered.
“We have a lot going on at the festival,” she said. “You can bring the family and everyone’s going to be entertained.”
Headline musical acts include Realta, a Belfast-based band, Imar, a band from Glasgow and Irish supergroup The High Kings, a quartet referred to as the male version of “Celtic Woman.”
Bands from Colorado and Utah will also be performing throughout the weekend.
“I think you have to have a solid lineup of music if it’s going to be a Celtic festival,” Bowen said.
Unique workshops include Celtic craft sessions for children, a Great Norse shield-making workshop, musical workshops for the guitar, fiddle, Irish flute and fiddle a mead tasting session and many more.
Musicians who have attended workshops through the day can get a chance to apply what they’ve learned during a traditional musical session after Friday night’s concert by Realta.
For those with an urge to try exotic accents, a Fake Scottish Accent contest will be held Friday evening. The contest will feature a “real Scottish judge,” according to the event’s schedule.
The event takes place inside the Evanston Roundhouse, a tourist attraction itself. The roundhouse, formerly used by Union Pacific, was built in 1871 and restored in 2009. By holding the Ceili in the roundhouse, organizers can avoid problems caused by unpredictable Wyoming weather, Bowen said.
The Ceili is just one of the many events organized by The Arts Inc. during the year. Others include the MAT (music, arts and theater) Camp and the Young Musicians Festival.
The festival opens at 3 p.m. Friday and continues until 11 p.m. Saturday. For more details, visit the Chili’s website at EvanstonCelticFestival.com.