Maine Celtic Celebration

Maine Celtic Celebration

Maine Celtic Celebration

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Month: June 2016

Kirkin’ o’ the Tartans

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The 12th annual Kirkin’ o’ the Tartans will be celebrated at The First Church in Belfast, United Church of Christ at 104 Church St., Belfast, on Sunday, July 17th, at the 10:00 a.m. worship service. Although not a formal part of The Maine Celtic Celebration, this event provides another opportunity to celebrate local Celtic heritage.

Literally, Kirkin’ o’ the Tartans” means “The blessing of the Tartans.” It reflects back to the time after the British loyalists defeated the Scottish Jacobites at the Battle of Culloden in 1746. As punishment, Scots were forbidden to wear their kilts and tartans, and many of their men were pressed into service by the British government. Tradition holds that the women of the highland clans, whose men were far from home, would bring a small piece of their tartan to the Kirk (church) to be blessed secretly and to pray for heaven’s protection for the clan and for its members. Since that time, the tradition of the Kirkin’ O’ the Tartans has evolved into a colorful, festive occasion for celebrating Scottish heritage. The congregation asks God’s blessings and protection for those represented by the tartans, recognizes the historical contributions of native Scots and Scottish-heritage Americans, and celebrates the faith traditions of the Celtic and Scottish peoples.

The First Church service includes things like the “calling of the clans” where anyone of Celtic descent can stand and shout out their family name; the “blessing of the bairns,” a special message and blessing for the children; and the “fields of the forest,” a remembrance of those who have died in the past year. The service also features Scottish or Irish music, sung and played on traditional instruments.

So bring the lads and lassies for a blessing and the whole clan, whether you’re Scottish or not, for a time of celebration and thanksgiving. For more information, call the church office, 338-2282 or check out the website at

Celtic Breeds Parade and Dog Show

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Saturday, July 16th on the Steamboat Stage

Parade: Meet at 9:30 at the Steamboat Stage

Show: Meet at 10:00 on the Steamboat Stage

Show off your Celtic breed at The Maine Celtic Celebration! All Celtic dogs and their owners are invited to join Steve Seekins, Faelan the Deerhound, and Maggie the Lurcher at 9:30 for a parade of the grounds led by a kilted piper followed at 10:00 by a “Meet the Celtic Breeds” dog show on the Steamboat Stage. Dog owners will do a short informal talk about their breed. Talks will include some information on the breed’s history and characteristics, their purpose and other interesting facts, along with any human interest stories about a specific dog.

Contact Steve Seekins to register in advance at Please include your name, contact information, your dog’s name, and breed.

Here’s a list of the Celtic breeds:


Bearded Collie, Border Collie, Border Terrier, Cairn Terrier, Rough Coated Collie, Curly Coated Retriever, Dandy Dinmont Terrier, Lurcher, Scottish Deerhound, Golden Retriever, Gordon Setter, Scottish Terrier, Shetland Sheepdog, Skye Terrier, West Highland Terrier


Glen of Imaal Terrier, Irish Setter, Irish Terrier, Irish Water Spaniel, Irish Wolfhound,

Kerry Beagle, Kerry Blue Terrier, Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier


Cardigan Welsh Corgi, Pembroke Welsh Corgi, English Black and Tan Terrier,

Sealyham Terrier, Welsh Hound, Welsh Sheepdog, Welsh Springer Spaniel, Welsh Terrier


Galician Barn Dog, Galician Hound, Galician Pointer, Galician Quisquelo


Brittany Spaniel, Brittany Fawn Griffon, Fawn Brittany Basset

Children’s Activities

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The Maine Celtic Celebration is synonymous with good music and cheer. But do you know what else the Celtic Festival brings to the city of Belfast? It brings an awesome children’s area where kids of all ages are welcome to explore and play.  Come and visit us and take part in the myriad of activities we have planned for the afternoon. There are things for all ages to do. You child not a sporty person? That’s okay. We will offer arts and crafts such as making marshmallow shamrock paintings and creating celtic designs on rocks as well as cup stacking as an activity. But that’s not all because  we cater to different interests. We will also have relay races happening at the same time, such as sack races and a balloon toss relay for those that are competitive. And finally, for those that prefer to work together, we will have activities that require teamwork, like the hula pass.   And let’s not forget the pièce de résistance: the boot toss, the miniature version of the heavy games. Kids will play, create, explore, and work together at these activities under the close eye of adults and volunteers. We also ask that parents please accompany your children so that the activities can work seamlessly.  So come on down and join the fun! We are open from 12-4 on both Saturday and Sunday, July 15th and 16th. Hope to see you there!