Celtic Celebration, 5K run set for July 19-21

Kilts, cabers and cheese make for a grand time on the waterfront
Jul 10, 2019
Photo by: Jordan Bailey At the 2016 Maine Celtic Celebration, Rob Harrington of Wrentham, Mass., takes the cheese in the men's age 19-24 round of the New World Cheese Roll Championship.

Belfast — A weekend of Celtic — and family — fun kicks off the afternoon of Friday, July 19, when the Black Point pipes and drums call all to Belfast Common at 3:30 p.m. They will sound the start of the 13th annual Maine Celtic Celebration along Belfast's waterfront.

Events take place all weekend on the Common and Steamboat Landing, with music and dance on two stages, music and instrument workshops, a Celtic dog show, a sheep-herding demonstration, the Kilted Canter 5K road race and walk, a Medieval Artisan Village with combat demonstrations, Highland Heavy Games, the New World Cheese Roll championship, food and craft vendors, and fireworks.

Dress in traditional Celtic garb and participate in the Kilt Competition, which is now a family-friendly event (no longer just "men in kilts"). The Highland Games on Sunday include such traditional events as the caber toss and the Scottish hammer throw. A kids' version, the "Not So Heavy Games," will include a Wellington Boot Toss in the Children's Area on the Common.

On Sunday morning, all are welcome to The First Church in Belfast for its annual "Kirkin' o' the Tartans" service.

Full details are available at mainecelticcelebration.com. There is a $10 per person suggested donation that can be contributed at the many entrances to the park on Celtic Celebration weekend.

Kilted Canter 5K

The longstanding tradition of a Maine Celtic Celebration 5K road race continues with this year’s running of the seventh annual Kilted Canter 5K Run/Walk Saturday, July 20. Wearing a kilt is optional.

Sponsored by the Belfast Rotary Club, the race continues to be run on the same relatively flat course as in the past, through Belfast's picturesque and historic neighborhoods of Belfast. Register in advance at runbelfast.org or day of at 7:30 a.m. at Belfast Area High School, 98 Waldo Ave. The race begins at 8:30 a.m.

Fees are $20 through July 17, $25 on race day and $20 for active duty military. T-shirts will be available while supplies last.

Awards will be given to the top overall female and male runners and to the top male and female runners in each of nine age groups from preteen through 80+.

Remaining races in the Run Belfast series are Rotary Bug Run 5K, Aug. 17; YMCA Pancake Triple Stack 1-Mile Kids' Run, 5K, and 10K, Sept. 15; and Rollie’s Run for Kids 5K, Oct. 5. Sponsors are Damariscotta Bank & Trust and Journey to Health (MaineHealth).

Kirkin' o' the Tartans

For the 15th straight year, the First Church in Belfast, United Church of Christ, will celebrate the Kirkin' o' the Tartans Sunday, July 21, at 10 a.m.

Although not a formal part of the Maine Celtic Celebration, this blessing of the tartans service reflects back to the time after British loyalists defeated the Scottish Jacobites at the bloody Battle of Culloden in 1746. As punishment for their traitorous acts, Scots were forbidden to wear their traditional tartans, and clansmen were imprisoned or pressed into service by the British. Tradition holds that,in the absence of their men, the women of the Highland clans would take small pieces of their tartans to the kirk (church) to be blessed secretly and to pray for protection of the clans and their people.

The First Church continues the tradition to celebrate Scottish heritage. The service includes Scottish and Irish music played on traditional instruments; the "calling of the clans," in which anyone of Celtic descent can stand and shout our their family name; the "blessing of the bairns," a special message and blessing for children; and the "fields of the forest," a remembrance of those who have died in the past year.

All are welcome to attend.

Poster design winners

Two students at the Waldo County Technical Center received cash prizes as winners of a Maine Celtic Celebration poster design challenge.

Graphic design students Kasey Annis of Belfast Area High School and Ilana Currier of Mount View High School, both seniors, received prizes of $200 each for their design work.

Given basic specifications for poster elements, students were encouraged to use their own ideas in creating the poster designs. Students submitted about 10 separate designs. The Maine Celtic Celebration board of directors had intended to pick only one winner, but members were impressed with elements of both Kasey and Alana’s designs. The board asked the two students to collaborate and combine their designs.

Their resulting design appears on posters and T-shirts that will be available at this year’s Maine Celtic Celebration July 19-21 at Belfast Common.

The Graphic Design course at the Waldo County Tech Center is one of 13 different programs offered to students from Belfast, Mount View, and Searsport High Schools. In Graphic Design, students learn artistic theory, develop creative thinking, and gain technical skills using industry standard software.

Classes are project-based; students design such items as posters, brochures, invitations, logos, packaging and web graphics. Real projects come from both partner schools and the community.

In addition to the Maine Celtic Celebration project, students have previously worked on a concert poster and program for the Penobscot Bay Singers, a logo coffee mug for the Tech Center, and graphics for a MaineAllCare event in Belfast. The Graphic Design program welcomes projects from the community because completing real projects helps students build both technical and relationship skills.

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