Whiskey Tastings

Whiskey tasting classes will be held in the cultural workshop area. Purchase tickets online at the links below. Once online sales have ended, the remaining tickets will be available for purchase in the cultural workshop area beginning one hour prior to the tastings:

Saturday 5:00 pm - Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey - all remaining tickets will be sold Saturday beginning at 4 pm
Saturday 7:00 pm - Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey - all remaining tickets will be sold Saturday beginning at 4 pm
Sunday 2:00 pm - Tullamore D.E.W. Irish Whiskey - all remaining tickets will be sold Sunday beginning at 1 pm

The Celtic Breakfast

The Celtic Breakfast will be held Sunday at the "Top of the Morn'n Cafe" located in the Beer Garden across from the United Irish of Dayton Main Stage on Monument Ave. Breakfast will be available from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. for a nominal fee.

All proceeds benefit the festival.

Celebrate Sunday Mass

Join us Sunday at 10:00 a.m. at the United Irish of Dayton Stage in the new Five Rivers MetroParks Pavilion to celebrate Sunday Mass. Mass will be presented in Gaelic and English. Irish dancers and pipers will be present.

Irish Music Sessions

Hosted by the Riley School of Irish Music, come join Irish Musicians, of all skill levels, as each pulls up a chair to join in jigs, reels, and the energy that comes with a community driven Irish session.  Bring your own instruments, or borrow one of ours, to take part in this new addition to the 2019 festival. You never know, you may just get the opportunity to sit down and play right along with some of your favorite artists and headliners.


Cultural Demonstrations and Presenters

Cindy Thomson: Author

Known for the inspirational Celtic theme employed in most of her books, Cindy Thomson is the author of six novels and three non-fiction books, including her newest, Celtic Song. A genealogy enthusiast, she writes from her home in Ohio where she lives with her husband Tom near their three grown sons and their families. Visit her at www.cindyswriting.com or on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest at @cindyswriting, and Book Bub at @cindyswriting.

Cathy Jo Smith: Storyteller & The Irish Wake

The Irish Wake attempts to explain in a family-friendly way many of the customs and traditions associated with the 3-day period of mourning as it was observed in Ireland. More information about Cathy Jo’s stories and the Irish Wake can be found at www.irishteller.com.

Maggie Delaney - The Story of an Indentured Servant

Forced from her homeland of Ireland, Maggie Delany, along with her husband and children, came to the American colonies as an indentured servant hopping to find a better life. Instead, she found sorrow and hardship as human property forced to serve whatever master bought her. Listen as Maggie shares her tale that reveals how thousands of our ancestors came to America in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Mai Hernon, Singer/Dancer

Traditional singer/dancer from Gurteen, County Sligo, Ireland. She has four CDs on the market and has toured Ireland, England, Europe, and America. This is her fifth year performing and conducting workshops at the Dayton Celtic Festival. She is also performing with the duo Celtic Font at this festival, and has shared a stage with bands such as Scythian, Cherish the Ladies, members of Dervish, The Drowsy Lads, and many more. To learn more about Mai, visit her website www.maihernonirishtradsinger.com.

Michael Vignoles: Musician and Artisan

Michael Vignoles, based in Galway, Ireland, is a musician and maker of traditional Uilleann pipes and bodhran drums. He will be joining the Dayton Celtic Festival for a fourth year of workshops on his instruments, as well as conversation and demonstrations throughout the weekend. To learn more, please visit his website at www.michaelvignoles.com or email him at michaelvp60@gmail.com.

Irish Wolfhounds

Meet the magnificent Irish wolfhound, the world’s tallest breed of dog. Once prized as the war dog of the Celts, this canine is now known as the gentle giant. Legends of the wolfhound abound in ancient Irish mythology. It was the dog of royalty in medieval times. During the Celtic Revival, the wolfhound became a symbol of Irish nationalism. See these amazing dogs up close, pet them, and maybe get a free Celtic kiss!

Dayton Area Rugby Club (DARC) & Five Rivers Youth Rugby Foundation (FRYRF)

Rugby first came to Dayton, Ohio, in the fall of 1969 when a group of University of Dayton students played their first rugby match. In the years that followed, the interest in the sport evolved to establish official club rugby in 1973 and squads in the Dayton area have been successful ever since. In 1979, Dayton rugby saw the creation of the first women's squad, and in 1999, it was reformed into the present-day women’s team. Today, DARC is a rugby union club dedicated to the promotion and growth of the sport. They play their home games at Dayton Rugby Grounds located at 620 Shiloh Dr. in Dayton. For more information on how to get involved, or even just to come out and watch one of their matches, visit www.daytonrugby.com

FRYRF, formed in 2012, is dedicated to the promotion and development of youth rugby. Over the years, they have grown the youth rugby program to six high school teams and a co-ed middle school flag rugby program. To learn more about Dayton’s Youth Rugby, their summer rugby programs, and more, please visit http://fryrf.org/wordpress/

David McDonnell, Author and Storyteller

David is a critically acclaimed author and storyteller. He’s told his tales and presented historical talks throughout North America and Ireland. He has a vast repertoire of stories and a near-encyclopedic recollection of Irish history. His stories draw upon history, culture, and folklore with his vivid imagination and wry sense of humor added to the mix. David will present “The War of Independence and the Ordinary Irish” and “An Hour of Irish Storytelling.” Both promise to be interactive and entertaining, with full audience participation. More information is available at clandonnell@gmail.com and www.clandonnell.net.

Terence O’Leary, Author

An Irish-American author, who was born in Chicago, Illinois, but spent his teenage and adult life in Northwest Ohio. Mr. O’Leary’s five critically acclaimed, realistic coming-of-age novels focus on teenagers facing a family crisis. Irish Crossings: Danny’s Story and Irish Crossings: Caitlin & Paddy’s Story are fictional accounts of his family’s struggles during the heartbreak of the Irish Potato Famine.

Aside from sharing his novels during the festival, Mr. O’Leary will also talk about life in Ireland during the time of the Great Hunger. He will discuss how the Potato Famine not only changed the destiny of Ireland, but also America. For more information, email: terry@terenceoleary.com or visit www.terenceoleary.com.

Introduction to Irish Music

Have you ever wondered: What is the difference between jigs and reels? What do you call those instruments? How can people from all over the world sit in a circle and play the same song? This workshop will take a big picture look at what makes Irish music...Irish! Get a chance to hear tunes, songs, and explanations from some of the Dayton Celtic Festival’s top Irish and American headliners. Feel free to come ready with questions. Participating Artists: Fiachra Hayes: fiddle and vocals (Socks in the Frying Pan), Shane Hayes: accordion and vocals (Socks in the Frying Pan), and Daniel McKewen: guitar, uileann pipes, and bodhran (The Drowsy Lads).

Riley School of Irish Music

Founded in 1996 by Susan Cross Gilligan, the Riley School is a community of children, teens and adults dedicated to the pursuit of Irish traditional music. The Mission of the School is to foster traditional Irish music in the Greater Cincinnati region through instruction, communal events, and enrichment activities. Quarterly sessions are offered starting in September, January, and March. Classes are held on Saturdays at the Grace United Methodist Church in Norwood, Ohio.  Small class sizes provide a rewarding and effective way for students to experience the history, camaraderie, and joy of playing traditional Irish music. The Riley School is honored to receive support from both the Ohio and Kentucky Arts Councils and was awarded the Ohio Heritage Fellowship for Community Leadership in 2018 by the Ohio Arts Council.  For more information visit their website https://www.rileyirishmusic.com/ or their Facebook page

Dayton Metro Library’s Genealogy Department

Staff members of the Dayton Metro Library’s Genealogy Department will provide an overview of resources available, specifically the Irish and British Isles sources within their collection. For more information on the resources, events, and workshops available, visit the Dayton Metro Library website at: http://www.daytonmetrolibrary.org/locations/history.

Traditional Blacksmiths: Southern Ohio Forge and Anvil (SOFA)

Tim Garner, member of the Southern Ohio Forge and Anvil, will be onsite along with other SOFA members to demonstrate traditional blacksmithing. Come learn more about the technique and art of blacksmithing while watching them create various pieces. To learn more about their organization, please visit www.sofablacksmiths.org.

Bill Evans: Baker

Bill Evans of Evans Bakery will be leading workshops on the art of bread making, specifically Irish Soda Bread.  Come join as he shares the steps, ingredients, and process of making this Irish favorite.  Evans Bakery, Dayton family owned and operated since 1969, is located in Old North Dayton and serves fresh baked breads, pastries, and various other treats daily.  Visit them on Troy Street or check out their Facebook page to learn more.

Five Points Cloggers

The Five Points Cloggers are a non-profit, energetic dance group based in Dayton, OH with dancers of all ages. We specialize in Appalachian Mountain style clogging, also known as buck dancing, to traditional and popular music. The Five Points Cloggers have been performing in the Dayton area for over 30 years at local and regional festivals and events. The group was created to provide an extracurricular activity for young people (ages 8-80) in the Dayton area, to provide entertainment at local festivals and nursing homes and to continue the American traditional dance form created by settlers to America over 200 years ago. For more information about our group – our schedule, joining the group or attending a clogging class, see our Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/FivePointsCloggers/.

Miami Valley Knitting Guild

Miami Valley Knitting Guild (MVKG) members put Irish craftsmanship at their skilled fingertips as they demonstrate Aran knitting. The Aran sweater is an integral part of Irish heritage, with a long history linked to the farming and fishing families of Connemara and the three Aran islands off Connemara’s coast. From a craft created on the wind-swept islands at the mouth of Galway Bay, see centuries-old embossed patterns come to life stitch by symbolic stitch. Miami Valley Knitting Guild is a friendly group of local knitters who offer a standing invitation to knitters of all skill levels, whether you are a master knitter or haven’t yet learned a knit from a purl. Information is available on Facebook, Meetup, ravelry.com, and mvkg.org.

Christopher Bodkin: Lessons from the Irish Canting Crews

Leaving New Orleans after learning from the Irish street gangs, Christopher Bodkin headed north with the intention of warning, teaching and extolling against the ‘hucksters, shiesters, and tricksters’ who were preying on their own population. Using gambling sleights, magic, and the other skills learned in the Irish canting crews of his youth, his goal is to teach his people ‘Do Not Play This For Money’. A family-friendly interactive look at the seamier side of Irish life, Christopher Bodkin is actually Eric Scites of Faire Wynds Entertainment, which strives to bring the historical side of entertainments to life. Find more information at www.fairewynds.com.


Rainbow's End Children's Area

Children will also be able to enjoy the Celtic experience over the weekend. The Rainbow's End Children's Area has special activities set up just for the wee ones! There are games, picture boards, Celtic crafts and tattoos, and more. Open Sat 11:30 a.m.-8:30 p.m./Sun 11:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m. only.

Parade of Kilts

Parade of Kilts - Wear your kilt, show your Celtic Pride
A call to arms - Men of the kilt, join us!
Do you own a kilt? Are you full of Celtic pride? Are you looking for the perfect opportunity to show this off? Join us under the Cultural tent Friday and Saturday evenings at 6:30 p.m. and immediately after Mass on Sunday (around 11:30 a.m.) for the Parade of Kilts. Bagpipers and flag bearers will lead us through the festival grounds in a display of Celtic pride unseen in these parts for a generation or more.