CELTIC MARCH: Helidon is transformed as the annual Celtic Festival of Queensland marches into the main street with bagpipes, singing, dancing, Celtic sports, Medieval re-enactments and more.
CELTIC MARCH: Helidon is transformed as the annual Celtic Festival of Queensland marches into the main street with bagpipes, singing, dancing, Celtic sports, Medieval re-enactments and more. Contributed.

Helidon celebrates all that's Celtic with 'good craic'

A GOOD old-fashioned "ceilidh" is about to take over the main street of Helidon.

For those not in the know, a ceilidh is a Celtic-style "knees-up", with music, singing, dancing and good company, or as the Irish would say "good craic".

And it's all at the annual Celtic Festival of Queensland - a free celebration of all things Celtic on Sunday, November 6, from 10am to 3pm.

The day starts with the massive pipe display at 10am, with the haunting sound of 20 to 40 bagpipes sure to send shivers down your back.

Music throughout the day ranges from Celtic rock to a folk band, traditional songs to a string ensemble of Celtic/Medieval music, and of course there's Scottish Highland and Irish dancing.

The Highland Games demonstration, including hammer throwing and the traditional caber-tossing - in which a man hoists a pole measuring 16 to 22 feet (5-7m) and 100-180 pounds (45-80kg) , takes a run-off and attempts to hurl it down the field - will take your breath away.

The Glencoe Medieval Re-enactment Group showcases village life of the time, including a sword-fighting display and "knight school". There's also a bush poets' corner and plenty of stalls to explore.

Tony Williams, secretary of the Celtic Historians Association which has been running the event since 2007, said it was a real family day out, with as much for Seniors to enjoy as children.

"Because it is a free event you can come and go throughout the day, or find yourself a pleasant spot to sit and watch the entertainment schedule for the whole day.

"Then there is the atmosphere created by a street festival. There is something special about being able to close down a main street and set up a festival."

For those wanting to learn more about their Celtic heritage, there is an information tent with material about the Celtic nations - Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Isle of Man, Cornwall, Brittany and even Galicia in northern Spain - as well as the origins of bagpipes and Celtic monuments like standing stone circles.

So whether it's fun, music and dance, stalls or education you want, it's all on offer under the blooming jacarandas of Helidon on November 6.

For more information, visit the festival on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Celtic-Festival-of-Queensland/223495471034429


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