I had the honor yesterday of serving as the host for this year’s 20th annual Wheeling Celtic Celebration at the Wheeling Artisan Center, so I wanted to offer some of the the sights involved with a day that saw more than 1000 fans roll in and out of the Friendly City’s first festival of 2016.
A grand total of 10 local and regional bands and performers took to the stage during the 12-hour event, and for the 16th consecutive year it was Chris Villamagna from the Wheeling National Heritage Area who arranged most of everything involved.
More than 10 vendors were on hand, the crew from River City Restaurant provided the authentic Celtic foods, and many kids enjoyed not only the live entertainment but also the children’s activities area on the second floor.
“It was really a great day to celebrate the Celtic culture, and judging by the crowd, it’s something that is really important in this area,” Villamanga said. “It’s a lot of work, and it’s a long day, but when you see so many people of all ages having so much fun, it really does make it all worth it.”
Following is a series of photos from each act that took to the Celtic Celebration stage and of the atmosphere that surrounded the annual event.
Druid song — Bruce Golightly — got the celebration started at 11 a.m.
River City Restaurant provided many Celtic dishes, including Scotch Eggs.
Representatives of the Green Fairy Botanicals, including Pat Long (on right).
The Pittsburgh Scottish Country Dancers
Ohio County resident Bryan Murray enjoyed the show so much he decided to use his selfie stick to record one of his favorites.
The Macdonald Pipe Band of Pittsburgh featured performers from throughout the Upper Ohio Valley and western Pennsylvania.
Members of Burke Conroy School of Irish Dance out of Pittsburgh rehearsed in the atrium area on the first floor.
Long lines kept staff members of River City busy the entire day.
Employees of Wheeling business The Noble Source were one of the local vendors at the 20th annual Wheeling Celtic Celebration.
NazBro Chocolates & Fudge
The 20th annual Wheeling Celtic Celebration attracted folks of all ages.
Wheeling’s own Gallowglass was one of the afternoon’s featured bands.
Ohio County Commissioner Orphy Klempa and his bride, Mary Jo.
The ladies from Wheeling’s The Desert Beckons.
Celtic Celebration performer Terry Griffith.
The crowd for this year’s Celtic Celebration remained consistently large from beginning to end.
A favorite of the Wheeling Celtic Celebration — Brigid’s Cross.
One of the most celebrated Irish fiddlers in the world, Kevin Burke.
Burke played for more than an hour much to the delight of the Celtic Celebration crowd.
The final band of the 20th annual Wheeling Celtic Celebration — the Bastard Bearded Irishmen.
(Photos by Steve Novotney)