Celebrate Celtic Pride
St. Patrick’s Day rolls around just once a year, but Celtic pride reigns around the state during all seasons.
If you are looking for a special St. Patrick’s Day celebration, take part in the 30th annual “A Wee Bit O’ Ireland” in Heppner, Oregon. Located southwest of Hermiston, Heppner doesn’t look like the Old Country, but the Irish spirit will be alive and well at the March 15-18 event. Enjoy food, drink, music, arts and crafts, sheep dog trials and amateur boxing. “The Gothard Sisters,” a popular Pacific Northwest fiddle and dance trio, will perform Saturday night. Visitors will enjoy the welly toss, the Great Green parade and road bowling.
March 16-17, the town of Lakeview in southern Oregon remembers the history and heritage of its 19th Irish immigrants with the annual Irish Days Festival. Friday evening features a corn beef and cabbage dinner along with traditional Irish step dancing. Saturday will see unique competitions like potato hockey, a bartenders race and outhouse races, along with various food competitions and a parade, music and a barbeque.
Portland Highland Games celebrates its 60th anniversary on July 21, 2012, at Mt. Hood Community College in Gresham. The event showcases world-class pipe bands, Celtic entertainment, and top competition in heavy athletics, Highland dancing, solo fiddling, piping and drumming. The kilted mile run, sheepdog demonstrations, caber toss, and parade of massed bands are among traditional favorites. Bring the kids for games, a fun run and a tug-o-war.
Head to the village of Yachats on the central Oregon Coast for the Yachats Celtic Music Festival Nov. 9-11. In its 11th year, the festival features Celtic music from world-class musicians from Ireland, Scotland, Asturias and Galicia as well as dancing, food and spirits. The weekend usually includes whiskey and beer tasting, Irish step dance classes, and fiddle, flute and whistle workshops.
About the Author: Eileen Garvin
Eileen Garvin is the editor of Travel Oregon’s Seasonal Features, enewsletters and annual visitor guide. When she’s not cooking up trip ideas, Oregon Dreamer profiles and outdoor adventures to write about, she’s out exploring Oregon.