Celtic fest returns for fourth year at Old Spanish Trail Arena
by Greg Knight
The Times-Independent
Oct 26, 2017 | 2911 views | 0 0 comments | 391 391 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Massed bands gather to perform at the 2015 Scots on the Rocks Moab Celtic Festival. Organizers say 43 Scottish clans are expected to gather in Moab for the 2017 event. 													     File photo
Massed bands gather to perform at the 2015 Scots on the Rocks Moab Celtic Festival. Organizers say 43 Scottish clans are expected to gather in Moab for the 2017 event. File photo

The fourth annual Moab Celtic Festival by Scots on the Rocks returns to Moab Nov. 3 through 5 at the Old Spanish Trail Arena.

This year, according to festival president Dan Lamont, there will be bagpipe and drum band competition as well as a solo competition, highland dance competition, athletic competition, entertainment on stage, family clan booths, wares, food, wine and beer vendors, whisky tasting, door prizes and a silent auction.

The Wicked Tinkers, a Celtic pipe band from Los Angeles that has played the festival in past years, will hold a “meet and greet” Friday at 5 p.m. at the Old Spanish Trail Arena.

The festival will kick off Friday at 7 p.m. at the arena with a tattoo, or military music performance, by the Scottish-American Military Society of Salt Lake City and Moab — a group of veterans that have a shared Celtic history. The pipe bands in attendance will march in a massed group at the start of the tattoo. The remainder of Friday’s schedule will feature live music by The Kitchen Jam Band, The Wicked Tinkers and highland dance by the Heather Broch Dancers.

Lamont heaped praise upon the band, The Wicked Tinkers, which has made appearances on television in past years, including on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, and most recently on The Gong Show.

“They are a lot of fun and people flock to see them,” Lamont said. “They bring so much fun and energy to the event. Everyone should check them out.”

On Saturday, the heavy athletic games start at 9 a.m. with the weight-over-bar, weight-for-distance, sheaf toss, Scottish hammer throw, stone put and caber toss. The festival will also host the North American Light-Weight Women’s Championship event.

Highland dancing competition will begin at 10 a.m. in the main arena, followed by an awards ceremony in the pavilion around 2 p.m.

The festival’s opening ceremony starts at noon on Saturday at the main field. Darrell McFarlane is the 2017 Chieftan of the Festival. Massed bands will march onto the field and play a number of songs together, followed by the clan march.

After a series of heavy athletics games on Sunday, the closing ceremony is set for 2 p.m. where winners will be announced.

The event will also feature Scotch tasting ($25 admission), door prizes and a silent auction. A VIP booth will be available for attendees and will feature food and drink sponsored by local businesses. VIP admission is $40 per day with a two-day ticket discount (which does not include gate fee). Ticket prices are $20 for a three-day pass and $10 for single-day passes. Children 10-and-under are free. Seniors and active-duty military are $10.

For more information, go to www.scotsontherocksmoab.com.

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