Plans are being solidified for this year’s Maine Celtic Celebration. The festival runs Saturday and Sunday, July 21 and 22 on the Belfast waterfront, but will kick off Friday, July 20 with a gala opening dinner at the Belfast Boathouse, 34 Commercial St.

The evening will start 5:30 p.m. with hors d’oeuvres and a cash bar. Dinner of fish (or chicken) and chips will be served by Ye Old English Fish and Chips Shoppe at 6:30 p.m., followed by dessert, coffee and the Belfast Maskers performing music from “Brigadoon” and “Finian’s Rainbow,” as well as other Celtic favorites.

Tickets for the entire evening are $25 in advance at Out of the Woods on Main Street or by calling 338-2692; admission will be $28 at the door. Only 100 tickets will be sold, and all proceeds benefit the Maine Celtic Celebration. For more information about the annual fest, visit mainecelticcelebration.com.

Business After Hours tie-in

On Wednesday, July 18, Lincolnville’s Bay Leaf Cottages & Bistro will host a Belfast Area Chamber of Commerce business after-hours gathering from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Bay Leaf’s Bistro will provide an ice cream social and beverages and host live Celtic music performed by The Squid Jiggers.

The Squid Jiggers — David Rowe and Troy Bennet — are known for their Maine maritime music and traditional Celtic and Acadian songs. Rowe, son of Schooner Fare’s late bass guitar player Tom Rowe, has been playing professionally since he was 15. Bennet grew up following Schooner Fare’s music and started his professional career with the Irish band called Rakish Paddy.

The pre-fest event is free and the public is encouraged to attend. Bay Leaf Cottages & Bistro is celebrating its second anniversary and third season of lodging at 2372 Atlantic Highway, Route 1.

Courier Publications’ A&E Editor Dagney C. Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or dernest@courierpublicationsllc.com.