All things Celtic at Carlow festival

The 41st International Pan Celtic Festival is being hosted in Carlow town for the first time. Taking place from April 10-15, it promises to be an eclectic celebration of Celtic language, music, dance, food and games.

The 41st International Pan Celtic Festival is being hosted in Carlow town for the first time. Taking place from April 10-15, it promises to be an eclectic celebration of Celtic language, music, dance, food and games.

Throughout the week, visitors to Carlow will enjoy colourful exhibitions, traditional dance, music and songs from the Celtic lands of Ireland, Scotland, Wales, Brittany, Cornwall and the Isle of Man. The streets will be alive with the Celtic tones of traditional music while the Taste of Celtic Food and Craft Festival will attract foodies from all over to sample traditional treats from Irish food producers.

One of the most important events of the week is the competition section which will see the six nations compete in the choral, traditional music and dancing competitions and the Inter-Celtic Music Competitions. The cream of Celtic talent will be on display during these competitions with top names from each nation battling for the coveted titles. The Pan Celtic International Song Contest will see the nations competing in the Eurovision-style event. This year’s competition will include Celtic rock, pop, folk and traditional songs for the first year ever and is being held at Carlow’s Seven Oaks Hotel tomorrow (Thursday).

Another highlight of the week’s activities will be a colourful parade on Friday evening with traditional costume, lively music and spectacular dance displays from each of the participating nations. Sport is also a feature of the International Pan Celtic Festival with a Camogie Blitz and a Rugby Quadrangle taking place on Saturday and Sunday.

The Pan Celtic Trad Trail will also be a huge draw for traditional music lovers and top musicians will then be offering their skills and talents to enthusiastic students during workshops and classes on Saturday.