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 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

Cú & Craic Irish Wolfhounds

Meet the magnificent Irish wolfhound, the world’s tallest breed of dog. Once prized as the hunting dog of Celtic royalty, this canine is now called “the Gentle Giant.” See these amazing dogs up close, pet them, and maybe get a free Celtic kiss! Come find them keeping cool under the trees by the Dragon's Stadium

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 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

Gaeltacht Midwest (hosted by Indiana Celtic Community)

Gaeltacht Midwest provides introductory Irish (Gaelic) language instruction to attendees and connection with other Irish-learning opportunities in the Midwest, US, and abroad. To learn more about their programming please visit them at @GaeltachtMidwest and @indianacelticcommunity

The History and Sport of Hurling with Greg Bebbington

Greg first started playing the sport of hurling at the age of 6 in his home parish of Broadford, Co. Clare. He continues to play today for Cleveland GAA. Greg will talk about the history of the sport, how it is played today and the significance of hurling in Irish culture.

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. Come ready to ask questions to Daniel McKewen, guitar, uileann pipes, and bodhran player for The Drowsy Lads along with members of Socks in the Frying Pan and Boxing Banjo as they walk you through an introduction to Irish music.

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 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:

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

Culture Workshops Schedule

Saturday Cultural Workshops #1
  • 12:00 – 12:45 Irish Wolfhounds in Legend and Lore (Cú & Craic Irish Wolfhounds)
  • 1:00 – 1:45 The Sport of Hurling: 3000 years of tradition and passion (Greg Bebbington)
  • 2:00 – 2:45 Irish Storytelling: Tales of Fear and Fright (Cathy Smith)
  • 3:00 – 3:45 Finding Ancient Voices in Today’s Ireland (Cindy Thomson)
  • 4:00 – 4:45 Genealogy Tips (Dayton Metro Library)
  • 5:00 – 5:45 Introduction to Irish Language (Gaeltacht Midwest)
Saturday Cultural Workshops #2
  • 12:30 – 1:15 Irish Soda Bread Demonstration (Evans Bakery)
  • 1:30 – 2:15 Have some Fun with the Irish Tin Whistle (Riley School of Irish Music)
  • 2:30 – 3:15 How to Maximize your Fiddle Practice Sessions (Riley School of Irish Music)
  • 3:30 – 4:15 Clogging and the Irish Influence on American Appalachian Culture (Five Point Cloggers)
  • 4:30 – 5:15 Intro to Irish Music with Daniel McKewen (Drowsy Lads & other Headliners)
Sunday Cultural Workshops #1
  • 11:00 – 11:45 Irish Wolfhounds in Legend and Lore (Cú & Craic Irish Wolfhounds)
  • 12:00 – 12:45 Irish Story Telling: Fairy Doctors Magic and Medicine (Cathy Smith)
  • 1:00 – 1:45 The Sport of Hurling: 3000 years of tradition and passion (Greg Bebbington)
  • 2:00 – 2:45 Introduction to Irish Language (Gaeltacht Midwest)
  • 3:00 – 3:45 12 Stops on the St. Brigid Tour (Cindy Thomson)
Sunday Cultural Workshops #2
  • 11:30 – 12:30 Love, Laughter, and lamentation – an Irish Song Sampler (Riley School of Irish Music)
  • 1:00 – 2:00 Clogging and the Irish Influence on American Appalachian Culture (Five Point Cloggers)
  • 2:30 – 3:15 Meet the Uillean Pipes (Riley School of Irish Music)
  • 3:30 – 4:15 Intro to Irish Music with Daniel McKewen (Drowsy Lads & other Headliners)