The annual Calvert County Celtic Festival
St. Leonard, MD – Saturday, April 30 marked the region’s 38th annual celebration presented by The Celtic Society of Southern Maryland (CSSM). For the second year in a row the event was challenged by less-than-ideal weather. Still, the hearty souls who treasure their European roots came to Jefferson Patterson Park in St. Leonard to enjoy a variety of activities.

Festival Chair Mary Beth Dent said the busy eight-hour event comes off without a hitch thanks to the efforts of over 200 volunteers.

Musical entertainment included a variety of acoustic performers, fiddlers, pipers and dancers. Competitions in harp, fiddling, bagpipe band and dancing were held. The acts showcased on two separate stages included La Unica, the Kilmaine Saints, Coracree, Dragon Fyre and the very popular Gothard Sisters.

Since the festival was dedicated to the recognition of Welsh heritage this year, the favorite sport of Wales—rugby—was featured on the athletic field. Competitions were also held in the caber toss, sheaf toss and Scottish hammers.

As always, fest-goers got a glimpse of Celtic history through the costumed troupe of reenactment performers. The Calvert-Arundel Swordsmen recreated the Scottish Court of King James V, with Queen Madeline greeting attendees.

One of the highlights of the day occurred at high noon. The traditional Parade of Clans and Nations traditionally salutes over 30 clans and about a dozen bands march and play. Living history troupes also participate in the parade.

During brief remarks delivered during the parade, CSSM President Carla Jackson told fest-goers that while the Celtic Festival was a major undertaking for the society, it is not its only focus as the organization is involved in arts and culture “all 12 months of the year.” She also urged attendees to “find out about other Celtic nations besides your own.”

More information on the Celtic Society of Southern Maryland is available on their web site at

Contact Marty Madden at