Celtic festival, with bagpipes blaring, bags its 6th annual event at Old Spanish Trail Arena

celtic festival
Charles Thacker from Bloomfield, New Mexico (above) took second place in the weight for distance competition at this year’s Moab Celtic Festival. Trevor DeMass, (below) from Salt Lake City came to the Moab Celtic Festival last weekend to participate in the bagpipe competition and to otherwise enjoy the event. Photo by Anthony Militano

The sixth annual Moab Celtic Festival, also known as Scots on the Rocks, was held on Friday, Nov.1 thru Sunday, Nov. 3 at the Old Spanish Trail Arena, in Moab.

The Celtic Nations are composed of Scotland, Ireland, Isle of Man, Wales, Cornwall and Brittany. The festival featured traditional clothing, art, food, music, singing, dancing, educational lectures, athletic competitions and, of course, bagpipes.

Moab resident Dan Lamont and his wife founded Scots of the Rocks. “The festival has grown every year. With the clans, we started with six. Now we have 45,” Lamont remarked.

“The vibe here is awesome, so positive. When you leave here, you’re going to know if you are Scottish, Irish … and where you belong, because every booth here can help you. If you’re Scottish, we’ll find your clan for you. If you’re Irish we’ll find out what you belong to. We can find out by a surname, by your grandmother’s name, and when people leave here, they know who they are and if the clan is here, we send them to that clan to learn. It’s awesome history, ancestry and heraldry.”

Photo by Anthony Militano

Celtic pride, heritage and culture were on full display. Charles Thacker came from Bloomfield, New Mexico to participate in the athletic competitions. Celtic games test strength, and often the objective of the game is to lift and/or toss a weighted object. The Moab games featured caber toss, weight for distance, sheaf toss and stone put.

Trevor DeMass journeyed from Salt Lake City to play his bagpipes. “I came for the competition and the festival,” DeMass said. “It was a little tough playing the pipes earlier. It was a little chilly, but the weather is shaping up to be really nice.”

Said Lamont, “This event grows and grows and grows because people here in Moab love what we do, and we do it for the City of Moab and everybody that wants to come.”