Celebrate the Celtic New Year with live music, dancing & more!
Celtic culture comes alive at the annual Samhain Celtic New Year Festival 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 21, 2023, in the Spinning Room at the Willamette Heritage Center, 1313 Mill St. SE.
Samhain, pronounced “sow-in” (“ow” like in cow), is a Gaelic festival that marks the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the “darker half” of the year. It is traditionally recognized on November 1 and considered the Celtic New Year.
Salem nonprofit Céilí (said “kay-lee”) of the Valley Society celebrates the occasion with an immersive day of family-friendly experience, information and opportunity honoring the seven Celtic nations (Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Cornwall, Brittany, Galicia and Isle of Man), from live music and speakers, to workshops and educational, hands-on activities that are fun for the whole community.
The festival will open with a march through by Willamette Valley Pipes & Drums at 10:15 a.m. followed by a performance of the Sword Dance by Eric Chandler. Non-stop entertainment continues both inside and outside of the event.
This year’s headlining band is Two Rivers Céilí Band, a dedicated céilí (dance) band that represents our region with fiddle, flute, whistle, button accordion, banjo, pipes, guitar and piano. The band, as their name implies, is fluid and flowing, and aims to have a good strong current. The band will play a concert at 11 a.m. and provide live music for the ceili dance which wraps up the festival from 4 to 5 p.m.
The Celtic Kitchen will be serving up soups from three Celtic Nations (Scottish, Welsh, & Irish) with soda bread and green salad for lunch beginning at 11 a.m. Ala Carte items, available 10 a.m. until the food is gone, include coffee, tea, other beverages, chips, and five different flavors of scones by Manna Bakery.
Festival admission is $10 for adults and $5 for students. Free for children younger than 12.
Keep an eye on www.celticfestival.info for more information about the festival. You can also like us on Facebook: facebook.com/orcelticfest; follow us on Twitter: twitter.com/orcelticfest; and follow us on Instagram: instagram.com/orcelticfest
The Samhain Celtic New Year Festival is supported by Marion Cultural Development Corp, Salem Health Hospitals & Clinics, Capitol Subaru, The Summit Group of Oregon, Friends of Ceili of the Valley, All-Ireland Cultural Society and a grant of Transient Occupancy Tax from the City of Salem.
Samhain Celtic New Year Festival
When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, October 21
Where: Spinning Room at Willamette Heritage Center, 1313 Mill St. SE
Cost: $10 adults, $5 students and free for children younger than 12.