Okay, so 500 years down the road, it’s okay to admit it – Pedro Menedez de Aviles, Spanish founder of St. Augustine, came from the Celtic region of northern Spain.
Explains many things, like why the Spanish governors were Irish.
Yep, St. Augustine has been Celtic that long.
St. Augustine Celtic Music & Heritage Festival, March 9-10
There’s more to this celtic thing than Ann O'Malley's on Orange Street and Meehan's Irish Pub on the bayfront for St. Patrick's Day.
Let’s start with the St. Patrick’s Day parade.
Starts at 10 a.m. on Saturday in downtown St. Augustine, and each the festival year attracts participants from Florida and Georgia – marching bands, wenches on horseback, floats and much more family-friendly fun.
Get more ecumenical this year (See list here.)
Find the Celt in you as the festival has something for Irishpersons and good Scots alike.
In addition to the usual paeons to Irish culture, enjoy the festival’s own Highland Games, where competitors test their mettle in traditional contests of athletics and strength including:
- Open Stone Put – 16 lb. thrown for distance in any style
- Heavy Hammer Throw – 28 lb. & 56 lb. weights for thrown distance
- Caber Toss – Size and weight of caber differs between the classes of athletes. A regulation caber is a 19 ft. pine pole that weighs 175 lbs. and must be tossed end over end.
- Sheaf Toss – 16 lb. burlap bag tossed with a pitch fork for height, 56 lb. weight tossed for Height)
Still more ways to test your mettle
For instance, there’s a festival magician – one Capt. Mayhem– St. Augustine’s very own Pirate Magician.
Should you need some sustenance after dropping a wad at The Compleat Knight and Scots Corner, find your corned beef and cabbage and Irish stew and soda bread convenient to hand on the very grounds of the festival.
Give Highland Glenn Food, Cameron’s British Foods, House of Douglas Scottish Bakery and the Scottish Cottage at whirl.
But it’s really all about the music
The concerts begin in earnest with a Bagpipe Jam at 11 a.m. on Saturday.
Over the course of two days, festival goers will enjoy authentic Irish and Scottish music by:
- Clay County Sheriff's Office Pipes and Drums
- Dublin City Ramblers
- Scuttered the Bruce
- Spade McQuade & The Allstars
- The Tannahill Weavers
- The Wobbly Toms
Celtic life in Greater Jacksonville is just as vibrant as it was 500 years ago.
And it’s easy to find in St. Augustine, and not just this weekend.
Take the kids, take five bucks and head to the Old City on Saturday.
St. Augustine Celtic Music & Heritage Festival
- Sat., Mar. 9, 10 a.m.-10 p.m. & Sun. Mar. 10, 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m
- Admission: $5 general, $40 VIP
- Francis Field
- 14 W Castillo Dr.
- St. Augustine 32084
- Phone: 904-535-6853 | 904-891-0267
- Fax: 703-738-7690
- Email: email@example.com | festival@celtic.RomanzaStAugustine.org
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OFFICIAL BIO: K Truitt is a second-generation, native Floridian born in Jacksonville. Truitt worked in public higher education for 25 years and knows newspaper publishing, printing and graphic design. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org