Pinellas News

Dunedin Celtic Festival Moves Indoor

DUNEDIN, Fla. - DUNEDIN, Fla. - This year the Highland Games Committee is moving its Dunedin Celtic Festival inside the Dunedin Community Center. The ninth annual edition of the concert highlighting modern Celtic music will be presented Saturday, Nov. 17, 4 - 10 p.m. The committee's signature music festival and fundraiser has traditionally been held outdoors in Highlander Park. Vendors selling Irish and Scottish items lined the perimeter of the park's great lawn. Fans of Celtic music sat on the grass, enjoying musical acts and dancers performing on the band shell. Last year's Celtic Festival, however, was not as profitable as it should have been, according to Sandy Keith, the Highland games Committee spokesman.
The Dunedin Highland Middle School Pipe Band, Dunedin High School Scottish Highlander Band and the City of Dunedin Pipe Band benefit from the concert's beneficiaries. While it could have been inclement weather or a higher admission fee, no one knows for sure why the 2006 Celtic Festival did not garner the support it has in past years, Keith said. Nevertheless, the committee is moving the 2007 festival indoors in attempt to produce a rebound in attendance. Vendors selling Celtic wares will be set up along the hallway with bands playing on the stage in the gymnasium of the renovated and remodeled Community Center. The New York-based Celtic group Seven Nations Band and Clearwater's Lucid Druid will perform, along with Celtic dancers and the City of Dunedin Pipe Band. Headliners Seven Nations has an international following, and has performed at several local Celtic Festivals. Lucid Druid, a five-member band has become a local favorite during their performances at the Dunedin Brewery. Its arsenal of instruments includes bagpipes, guitar, stringed bass, Australian didgeridoo, Scottish snare and African drums. This year a portion of the festival's proceeds will also benefit a committee vice president who is battling a severe illness. The move inside has forced a reduction in the number of performing groups and vendors at this year's festival. So, the event will begin at 4 p.m., a later starting time than in past years. Dunedin Celtic Festival tickets cost $15 per person. Children 12 and younger will be admitted free with a paying adult. Next year, Keith said, the concert may return outdoors with performances on two stages, but for this year they do not have to worry about whether it is hot by day or cold at night. Each year the Committee holds two events paying homage to the city's Celtic Heritage, Fall Celtic music festival and spring Highland Games and Tattoo. For information about where to buy tickets visit the Highland Games Committee Web site.
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