DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – The Dayton Celtic Festival will be returning to RiverScape MetroPark for the first time in two years.

According to a Facebook post by the Dayton Celtic Festival, the festival with be returning on Friday, July 29 through Sunday, July 31.

The Celtic Fest will feature three stages of entertainment, seven headlining bands, food and drinks and cultural events.

“We are very excited to be back, see the big crowd down at RiverScape, all the entertainment, people just having a good time,” Celtic Fest Marketing and Publicity Co-chair Shawn Kain said.

The Dayton Celtic Festival was canceled for the past two years due to COVID-19. Organizers said because COVID restrictions were lifted too late in 2021, the festival was downsized to the Celtic Knot Celebration.

“We had the Celtic Knot Celebration around town to kind of give people the flavor we’re still around, but we’re going with the full-blown festival this year,” Kain said.

Dancers from the Celtic Academy of Irish Dance will be performing at the festival.

“They are very excited about getting out in a live audience again because they love performing, they’re excited about seeing the fans, they’re excited about to be able to be out there with their friends,” Director of Celtic Academy of Irish Dance Mary Laffey said.

Laffey said this festival is essential to the school, as enrollment has been down because the pandemic canceled many performances and outreach in the community.

“By being out in the public, and everyone seeing us once again, we’re able to promote the school, we’re able to hand out flyers, we have an August summer sampler we promote during the festival,” Laffey said.

Kain said the festival’s organizers are looking forward to welcome Dayton back to the festival after going two years without it.

“It’s a big event, the people downtown love it, people throughout the area love it, we bring 90,000 or more throughout the whole weekend,” Kain said.

A month before the Celtic Festival, a free community concert “kick-off” event will be held at RiverScape MetroPark at 7 p.m. featuring the band “The Screaming Orphans.”

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