Bordentown, NJ – Wear your kilt. Wear your pants. Wear something green. No matter how you dress, follow the sound of the bagpipes to Kilt Fest, a unique, medieval Celtic Festival and Highland Games taking place at Liberty Lake Park in Bordentown on October 5 and 6, 2019. Kilt Fest is hosted by American Highlander and The New Jersey Renaissance Faire, and features the music, sports, food, drink and culture of the 7 Celtic nations - Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Brittany, The Isle of Mann, Cornwall and Gallicia.

 

 

 

“We wanted people to be able to celebrate their Celtic heritage and that is why we started Kilt Fest,” said organizer Chris Beyer who owns the American Highlander Kilt Shop in Ewing, NJ. “America is sometimes called the 8th Celtic Nation because so many Irish, Scottish and Welsh helped found this country and many of their ancestors still live in this area. Kilt Fest at Liberty Lake is like the play, Brigadoon, where a mythical village from the Scottish highlands appears only one day every 100 years. We are bringing that village to central New Jersey. But just like Brigadoon, it only lasts for a short time, in this case one weekend in October, and then it disappears.”

 

 

 

 

Kilt Fest includes the Scottish strength and skill competition called the Highland Games, a 2-mile kilted fun run, kilt contests, whisky tasting, beer and cider, live bands, Celtic vendors, food trucks, Irish dancing, axe throwing, sword fighting, kids activities including a children’s highland games and more. Saturday, October 5 from 9am to 7pm and Sunday, October 6 from 10am to 6pm.

 

 

One of the main draws at Kilt Fest will be the Highland Games. One of the athletes, Al Yodakis who was a track and field athlete at Lehigh University, explains what the games are and how he got started competing in them. “It’s all Scottish strongman events. It’s how Scots would find the strongest men in their clan before they went out to battle… I went to a games and saw guys in kilts throwing heavy things and then having a beer afterwards and said this is my version of heaven. How do I do this? And I’ve been doing it ever since.”

 

 

 

 

In the past, only male warriors competed in the Scottish Highland Games. Today, at Kilt Fest and all over the world, men and women take part in all of the Highland Games events. Kids are also welcome to participate in the separate children’s highland games. Athletes will be on hand to provide instruction in various events specially designed for the wee ones.

 

 

 

 

Attendees of Kilt Fest will be able to try Haggis, a Scottish delicacy that is kind of like scrapple and is hard to find in the United States. It is being prepared by Celtic Knot Fish n’ Chips, the food truck run by Cameron’s Scottish Foods in Brick, NJ one of the largest suppliers of Scottish fare in America. Other food vendors will be selling corned beef and cabbage, fish n’ chips and other Celtic fare.

 

 

 

 

On Sunday morning, October 6 at 10 am, kilt clad runners will be competing in the annual 2-Mile kilted fun run. Some will run for time and some will walk slowly, a few with beer in hand. Trophies and prizes will be awarded but not necessarily to the fastest runners.

 

 

 

 

Some of the best bands in the area will be performing live. Na’Bodach who regularly play at area pubs including The Dubliner on the Delaware, Chaste Treasure, The Kennedys, Paul Adams, Nothing Sacred, bagpipers, drummers and more will all be performing.

 

Tickets and festival information are available at www.kiltfestusa.com.

 

 

 

 

 

Contact:

Chris Beyer

609-933-8652

chris@kiltfestnj.com

 

 

 

 

irishphiladelphia.com - May 23, 2019

 

 

Yes, there are kilts—in at least one case, obligatory. Sure, there’s ax throwing, bagpipes, a kilted fun run, and highland games. But Kilt Fest, coming to Bucks County June 7 and 8, is really a mishmash of all Celtic culture.

 

Kilt Fest on the Pennsylvania side of the Delaware is an offshoot of a festival by the same name held in New Jersey. This will be the first year here in the Philadelphia suburbs, at the Trifecta Sporting Club, 4666 East Bristol Road, Feasterville-Trevose.

 

 

“Ours is more of a Celtic festival. We have Irish and Scots,” says organizer Chris Beyer, owner of American Highlander Kilts. “A lot of it is Irish. It’s easier to get Irish involved in these things. We try to keep it where it’s a little more all-inclusive.”

 

So for example, the entertainment includes bands like na Bodach and the Kilted Rogues, both of which combine Scottish and Irish elements, together with entertainers like CJ Mills and Seamus McGroary. By all-inclusive, Beyer adds, that means Scots and Irish, of course, but also the Welsh and other Celtic nations.

 

The idea for Kilt Fest goes back several years. “I was hoping we could have a festival where people could show up in kilts, and we were trying to think of what that would be—what would a festival be that attracts people in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and even New York,” says Beyer. “And that’s when I thought we could combine the best of Celtic cultures. You know … incorporate the highland games and the kilts of Scotland with the music and food and drinks of Ireland.”

Beyer himself claims Scottish heritage, but also a lot of Irish and even some Welsh.

 

 

 

It turns out, he says, that New Jersey and Pennsylvania have large Scottish and Welsh populations—in addition to the Irish.

 

As an example: Ewing, N.J., where Beyer’s business is based. “Ewing is part of Mercer County, and Mercer County is named after General Hugh Mercer, who was a Scot from Aberdeen. And it turns out that Ewing and Hamilton—those are Scottish names, and those are all towns in New Jersey near Trenton, where I am from. It turned out that I was sitting on top of a hotbed of Celtic culture and didn’t even realize it.”

 

 

Kilt Fest Runs from 6 p.m. to midnight on the 7th, and from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on the 8th.

On the agenda for the 8th: a kilted fun run from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. (kilts mandatory); Gaelic sports from 12 noon to 5 p.m.; kids’ highland games from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m.; Irish dance from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.; and much more. There will be plenty of Celtic chow, and vendors. There’s also the American Highlander Invitational, a Gaelic football tournament.

 

Kilt Fest is a non-profit, supporting veterans’ causes like Mission 22, a veterans’ outreach organization. For more details: https://www.kiltfestusa.com.

 

-----irishphiladelphia.comJEFF MEADE

Jeff is one of the founding editors of irishphiladelphia.com.

 

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