Home to more than 50 million people of Irish, Scottish, Welsh and Cornish descent, there is a thriving Celtic events scene in the USA. From festivals covering all things Celtic, including music, dance, poetry and food, to celebrations focusing on Irish culture, Scottish Highland Games events and Cornish heritage.
With 35 million people of Irish descent, events related to the Emerald Isle are especially abundant. St. Patrick’s Day, the Celtic national holiday celebrated in more countries around the world than any other, is the centrepiece of annual celebrations. Around 150,000 people march in the New York parade, which attracts an estimated 2 million spectators. Boston, Chicago and many other American cities also stage large parades in honour of Ireland’s patron saint.
Of the numerous other Irish festivals, the biggest is probably The Milwaukee Irish Fest. The four day event held in mid August is billed as North America’s largest Celtic music and culture festival and features more than 100 acts performing on 16 stages. Attendance is estimated at around 130,000 each year.
Other large events cover a broader spectrum of the Celtic world. The Celtic Classic Highland Games and Festival, held over three days in September in Bethlehem Pennsylvania, is a hugely diverse event. It’s the home of the US National Highland Games Championship but also features traditional and modern Celtic music performances and competitions, poetry, food, tartan and pipe & drum parades and pretty much anything else you could think of. The organisers claim total annual attendance of around 250,000.
That’s just a brief flavour of the Celtic scene in the USA. It's safe to say that you'll find a Celtic themed festival or event in almost every American state at pretty much any time of the year.
Milwaukee Irish Fest https://irishfest.com/Irishfest.htm
Celtic Classic http://www.celticfest.org/