Hard to believe I was complaining about it being too hot just a few weeks ago.
We went to Olcott yesterday for the Niagara Celtic Festival and just about froze. It’s in the 40’s right now and the high today was 63. I doubt it got that high yesterday. And by the lake, it’s always cooler.
One of the most popular things at the festival – because of the cold weather – was the fire pit. Even at 2pm, there were people sitting and standing around it to get a little warmth. Those nice heavy woolen tartans were appreciated by those wearing them, I’m sure. I’m not so sure about those with kilts 🙂
We went mainly for the entertainment, but the sports and crafts were quite good as well. They have been getting better every year. The festival turned four this year, and is really gaining momentum.
The music on Saturday was great. From 3pm until 11pm, there was great music by three bands, all of which were favorites of mine. The Dustmen played at 3:30pm. We had just seen them on the Canal Cruise a couple weeks earlier. I’ve gotten to know them over the past few years and have to get them into a podcast soon.
Then Penny Whiskey played. I’ve been a fan of theirs since their forming out of Kilbrannan. I had them in an early podcast from the Buffalo Irish Center. Not only did they play the main stage, but Kirk and Jon went about the festival dressed as minstrels and calling themselves The Bards of Breuery. Not only was it constant music, but very fun.
But the highlight of the night was The Town Pants. From Vancouver, BC, they’ve found a lot of fans here in New York this summer. They played the Great Blue Heron Festival last year and returned this year as well. I also saw them at the Buffalo Irish Center and they’ve been playing all over – Rochester and the Finger Lakes area, as well as many Irish Festivals in the Northeast. They’re high-energy, fun celtic music, both standards as well as many clever originals.
But one of the best things was running into so many people I knew. Seemed like everywhere I turned were friends. Friends from Celtic music shows – Kilbrannan fans, Jackdaw fans, just music in general fans. And of course, the musicians; I’ve gotten to know them too and think of them as friends. And you can’t go out in Niagara County without running into friends and family. We met my sister and niece, Barbara and Sarah, my friends from SCOL, Mike and Ruth. People I used to work with. Even those we didn’t know, after a few hours, seemed like old friends. You just can’t have a bad time listening to Celtic music, so everyone usually has fun together.