Celtic Festival celebrates with music, dancers

Tired of dreary winter weather and longing for “greener pastures?” The 7th Annual Beaufort Celtic Festival will bring a bit of the Emerald Isle to ARTworks on Saturday, February 22. This full day event will kick off at 11 a.m. and continue until 9 p.m. with a non-stop roster of Celtic dancers and musicians. As an added bonus, 100 percent of the proceeds from the event will benefit two local non-profit organizations: The Child Abuse Prevention Association (CAPA) and the Arts Council of Beaufort, Port Royal and the Sea Islands.

Traditional Irish dancers will perform at the Beaufort Celtic Festival on Saturday, Feb. 22, at ARTworks.
Traditional Irish dancers will perform at the Beaufort Celtic Festival on Saturday, Feb. 22, at ARTworks.

The Master of Ceremonies for the event, as well as a festival performer, will be Harry O’Donoghue. Best known as the host of GPB’s “Green Island Radio Show,” Harry is a native of Ireland who has been performing professionally for over 30 years as a master storyteller and musician. He also introduces many Americans to Celtic culture via his annual group tours to Ireland and Scotland.

First up on the roster of musical acts will be the Savannah Ceili Band, a five member group that was formed to promote traditional Irish songs and dance music. The band has developed a loyal Sunday night following at Kevin Barry’s Pub in Savannah, and is sure to add some new Beaufort fans as well.

Local favorite, the Sun Celtic Traditions group, will be performing traditional Irish and Ceili dances onstage at 2 p.m. The group is currently comprised of about 35 residents of Sun City who have performed at many local events and also volunteer their time to teach Ceili classes. Another dance group that will be performing is the Glora na h’Eireann Irish Dancers from Savannah. This competitive dance team is comprised of students from the Glora na h’Eireann Academy of Irish Dance, a branch of the national Glor na Daire Academy of Irish Dance. Led by Abbey Pride Wood, a certified teacher and former championship dancer, these young people are proudly continuing the tradition of Irish culture and dance in the Lowcountry.

Headlining the evening concert that starts at 6:30 p.m. will be the Carroll Brown Celtic Band. Known as a singer and songwriter who tours extensively in the Southeastern U.S., Carroll is a regular solo performer at Tommy Condon’s Pub in Charleston. In addition, the full band frequently plays its unique mix of original and traditional Celtic-flavored folk and Appalachian music to sold out Lowcountry audiences.

The fun will continue with an after festival party at Rosie O’Grady’s Pub in Beaufort Town Center, just a few steps from the festival location at ARTworks.

Tickets are $17 for daytime events only (11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.), $17 for evening concert only, or $30 for an unlimited all day pass. For more information, contact the Managing Director of ARTworks Laura Maxey at 843-379-2787 or visit www.beaufortcelticfestival.com.

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