Picturesque, sunny spring weather was enjoyed by the throngs attending the 36th annual Southern Maryland Celtic Festival and Highland Gathering Saturday, April 26 at Jefferson Patterson Park and Museum in St. Leonard. The venue, located on the Patuxent River, proved to be the ideal spot for a rugby game, listening to acoustic gems performed by musicians and singers, enjoying the sight of traditional folk dancing plus eating a variety of foods and drinking beverages of varying degrees of potency. It was all there at the annual Celtic Festival.

“It’s amazing to walk around and see it come together,” said Celtic Society of Southern Maryland (CSSM) President Carla Jackson toward the conclusion of festival’s most spectacular event—the traditional Parade of Clans and Nations.

While the CSSM’s multitude of volunteers working in unison to make the extremely busy eight-hour event successful is the essence of the Celtic Festival, the competitive components are important, too. Competitions among musicians—harpists, fiddlers, pipers, drummers, bagpipers and bands—Highland athletes, dancers and even men with knobby knees were also a part of the program.

Members of CSSM plan for the event all year long. The 2015 Southern Maryland Celtic Festival is scheduled for Saturday, April 25. 

For more information on CSSM, visit

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