Sunday 8 September 2013

A Visit to the 10th Annual Beach Celtic Festival

Yesterday Teena and I were going to go to the 10th Annual Beach Celtic Festival at Kew Gardens on Queen Street W in the Beaches (for years there have been discussions on whether it is the Beach or Beaches) but unfortunately it rained so we stayed home.

Today was beautiful, sunny and not too hot, just a perfect day to head over for the festival. Kew Gardens is a great spot for a festival!

There were lots of vendors, some in tune with the festivals theme, some on the edge of it. I was attracted by the hat booth but resisted buying a new hat although I was trying one on when I took this shot, which is why my A.Y. Jackson hat is on the rack.


There were some English vendors too ... not really Celtic but from that part of the world

There were tents representing different Scottish clans.


What else is Scottish? The Gaelic language and kilts!

I was impressed by the entertainment. After one act left the stage, the next ones were coming on. There young dancers.


Also the teachers took the stage. I especially enjoyed their last dance, to not a Scottish tune but to The Devil Went Down to Georgia!


John McDermott was the headliner and was great. He explained the tune The Bonny Banks of Loch Lomond (You Take the High Road). He told of the old Celtic myth that the soul of a Scot who dies in battle on foreign soil will find their way back home by the spiritual road, or the low road. The surviving warriors will take the high road. I've heard the song song with a fast fun beat but not the way McDermott sang it, which is likely the proper way. It's really a depressing, beautiful tune.

Ye'll tak' the high road and I'll tak the low road 
And I'll be in Scotland afore ye 
But me and my true love will never meet again 
On the bonny, bonny banks of Loch Lomond


He brought up a singer from New Brunswick to sing with him. She had a fabulous voice and I wish I could remember her name!

What is a Scottish festival without a bagpipes and drums, today provided by the Toronto Black Watch Association . I'm not a big fan of bagpipes but this short set was quite good as they played Scotland the Brave and finished with Amazing Grace, which is always done best with bagpipes.

It was an enjoyable day. Here is John McDermott doing The Bonny Banks of Loch Lomond.

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