Participants enjoy third annual Badin Celtic Festival

Published 9:42 am Tuesday, May 16, 2023

Led by bagpiper “Mo” Mogenson, the Scottish-American Military Society Post 1775 Color Guard opened Saturday’s 2023 Badin Celtic Festival with a procession through downtown. The procession included 11 athletes participating in the event’s Scottish Highland Games and their families.

Procession participants wore traditional Scottish garb, including kilts made of clan tartans, along with sporrans (purse-like exterior pockets), as well as various belts, cuffed tartan hose and clan badges.

This was the third Celtic Festival held in Badin.

“The first was back in 2018, and was pretty big,” event volunteer Dan Dalton said, adding that the event, like many others, was interrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic before being resumed this year.

The event, spearheaded by Better Badin, Inc. included vendors, food, drink, entertainment, children’s activities, two scotch tastings and a raffle, all set up along Falls Road in Badin’s downtown. In addition, representatives of various Scottish heritage groups were set up on the village green, providing cultural and family history to festival visitors.

Meanwhile, the Highland Games events, under the supervision of Southeastern Highland Athletic Group Judge Dan Michels, took place at the waterfront park near Badin Lake.

Although the Southeast’s best-known Highland Games event takes place each July at Grandfather Mountain, a number of smaller gatherings are also held throughout the region. One of these, the Bethabara Highland Games near Winston-Salem, was canceled for 2023, which opened the door for Badin to host this event.

The Games events (stone throwing, heavy weight throwing for distance, light weight throwing for distance, heavy weight hammer throw, light weight hammer throwing, caber toss, sheaf toss and weight over bar for height) began at 9 a.m. and continued throughout the day.

An opportunity for youngsters attending the event to experience similar games was also held on the Village Green during the festival. The “Wee Kids’” Games included lighter-weight versions of throwing events and the caber toss, in addition to sack races.

Festival Committee member Tim Irvin noted that the committee members spent months in planning and preparation, and expressed his thanks to all who volunteered to assist with the event.

“They all have my gratitude,” he said.