Welcome to Big Stone Celtic 2017!
Friday 22nd and Saturday 23rd, September 2017
As usual a big thank you is due to everyone who contributed to the 2016 festival. There are far too many to list, so let us just say that all the efforts resulted in our biggest and best event yet!
You may have seen, briefly here, a change of weekend for our festival from 2017, however this will not be necessary after all although stay posted for 2018! Our dates for 2017 are, as usual, the fourth weekend in September - Friday 22nd will be our evening concert and then all day Saturday 23rd in downtown Big Stone Gap. In the past we have clashed with Dandridge Scottish Festival but I'm pleased to say that because there are five Saturdays in 2017 that won't be an issue this time.
Every year we have some local folk who say they either didn’t know anything about Big Stone Celtic, or even what ‘Celtic’ means, despite all our efforts to get the word out. So here’s some information
A Brief History
Big Stone Celtic began in 2007 with a small half day festival in one venue (Miners Park) to test the waters and see what interest there might be for a larger event. Numbers were encouraging, so the festival expanded to a full day, using a variety of downtown venues and modeled on traditional music festivals in the Celtic Nations of Europe. More recently with the support of Pro-Art a Friday evening concert has been added to begin the move towards a full weekend event.
Big Stone Celtic encourages visitors to the downtown area with its diverse merchants. The festival is an opportunity for folk from across the region to enjoy the Celtic culture of their settler forebearers. Finally, we try to emphasize the strong links between Celtic music and that of the Appalachian Mountains.
Because most of the venues are public areas it is difficult to charge an entry fee, therefore the festival is largely a free event with most costs covered by donations from Pro-Art , local government, businesses and individuals.
In 2012 the festival became a 501c3 non-profit under the umbrella of The Folk Alliance.
What Does "Celtic" Mean?
The term Celtic is strictly speaking more to do with a shared culture rather than shared genes. The culture began in eastern or central Europe (there are competing theories on exactly where), and spread to most of the continent before eventually being pushed to the extreme western fringes. There are currently seven recognized Celtic nations - Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Cornwall, Brittany, Galicia and The Isle of Man. In addition Nova Scotia is aiming to be recognized as the eighth. We would contend that Appalachia has a strong case to be the ninth.
The culture is recognizable through linked language, music, food and artistic design as well as games and sports.
In our area the main connection is to the Lowland Scots and the Scotch Irish (Ulster Scots) and is exemplified in many ways including music, ballads, language and social community, not to mention a strongly independent attitude.
For regular updates, follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/BigStoneCelticDay
For information on the Tour de Cracker's Neck bike race contact Gary Johnson at firstname.lastname@example.org
We are very grateful to the following sponsors for their generous support -