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Big Stone Gap festival to celebrate region's Celtic heritage

Stephen Igo • Sep 13, 2017 at 2:00 PM

BIG STONE GAP — The annual Big Stone Celtic Day will begin with a 7 p.m. concert on Friday, Sept. 22 with daylong musical performances, a parade and a host of other activities reserved for Saturday, Sept. 23.

The festival to celebrate the region’s Celtic roots will feature new activities this year including a beer garden (photo ID required for entry), the Celtic Colours 5K and the Highland Games Competition. The latter event is open to the public in teams of five. Signup information for the 5K and the games can be found at www.bigstoneceltic.com.

The Pro-Art Association is sponsoring a free Friday night concert at Mountain Empire Community College’s Goodloe Center featuring the music of William Jackson, 4 Leaf Peat and Raven & Red. Jackson is an internationally acclaimed Scottish harpist, composer, flautist, teacher and is skilled with many other musical instruments.

Saturday’s Celtic Day events will begin with the 26.5-mile Tour de Crackers Neck bike race. For times and registration information, contact Gary Johnson at (276) 393-1917.

The Celtic Parade lineup will begin at 11 a.m. at the Big Stone Gap Fire Deprtment on Shawnee Avenue with the parade kickoff at 11:15 a.m., led by the Appalachia Highlanders Pipes & Drums. All comers, along with their leashed pets, are welcome and encouraged to participate in the parade.

The ever popular sheepdog demonstrations will return to Bullitt Park along with the Highland Games and children’s activities. Throughout the day, concerts, exhibitions and workshops will take place at Miners Park, the Farmers Market, H.W. Meador Coal Museum, Big Stone Gap Presbyterian Church, the town library, the Fox House and Tales of the Lonesome Pine Bookstore.

Some of the performing artists appearing at downtown venues on Saturday will include the Appalachia Highlanders Pipes & Drums, Ron Short, Sigean, and 4 Leaf Peat.

For a full schedule of events, visit www.bigstoneceltic.com or www.facebook.com/BigStoneCelticDay.

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