Anyone who has visited Ireland, England, Scotland or Wales in the summer, on those occasions when the sun is shining, would have noticed many similarities in the way the Belfast waterfront was transformed last weekend by the Maine Celtic Celebration. While the abundant sunshine was not characteristically Celtic, it’s not unheard of that the clouds part over those little islands in the North Atlantic. Like our neighbors across the pond, Mainers can — and do — appreciate a spell of good weather. Throw in some great music and food and we’re in heaven.

A tip of our tweed caps, then, to the organizers and volunteers behind this year’s Celtic Celebration. Thanks to some minor adjustments from past years and a great calendar of events, the weekend-long festival, now in it’s fourth year, appears to have truly hit its stride.

A promising development, started in 2009, has been the relocation of the Highland Heavy Games from Waterfall Arts to Steamboat Landing, in close proximity to events at the Common and the boathouse. The games, in which he-men and she-women heave rocks, hammers and the telephone-pole-like caber, are a rare treat to watch, and judging from the fact that the participants hailed from around the state, are probably even more fun to do.

The music at this year’s festival was superb, as it has been every year. With so many talented local musicians, we’re not surprised. Most of all, the Celtic Celebration continues to be a welcoming, all-ages event, where for the price of a small donation, visitors get access to a weekend of music, creative workshops, a fireworks display, games, and — for the athletes of the Highland Games — sport. To borrow a phrase from the Irish, it was “good craic” (pronounced “crack,” meaning a good time). Our only regret is that we didn’t get to do everything on the program.

On a final note, we commend the organizers of the event for passing over some of the more knuckleheaded celebrations of Celtic-American heritage — think green-and-white-striped stovepipe hats and public drunkenness. When we visited the festival on Sunday, the beer tent on Belfast Common — an annual exception to the city’s prohibition on alcoholic beverages in parks — was well managed, throwing off the relaxed vibe of an outdoor café.

As in the Celtic nations, where pubs are frequented by families, the beer was clearly an attraction along the way, not the destination. We hope it remains that way in years to come.