The 25th Australian Celtic Festival has arrived

GOING IRISH: Tina Woolfe, Lara Gresham, Mary Hollingworth and Christine Dance preparing at the Visitor Information Centre as the Celtic Festival arrives. Photo: Donna Ward.
GOING IRISH: Tina Woolfe, Lara Gresham, Mary Hollingworth and Christine Dance preparing at the Visitor Information Centre as the Celtic Festival arrives. Photo: Donna Ward.

The 25th Australian Celtic Festival is finally here.

And the Glen Innes Visitor Centre was in high gear on Wednesday.

Ticket sales are remaining strong but Australian Celtic Festival committee president Lara Gresham said there’s no limit on the discounted residents passes or the friends and family passes.

Ms Gresham said she’s particularly keen to catch last year’s International Artist of the Year, Clan Celtica.

“It’s mostly drums and I’m a drummer, so it’s close to my heart,” she said.

Ms Gresham said organisers aimed to include award winners in the entertainment line-up, and Clan Celtica will be performing “all over the place”.

If drumming’s not quite your style, she said the program contains different things for different people, with a mix of Celtic favourites like Murphy’s Pigs and new acts including Damien Leith, who’s performing for the first time at the festival.

Mayor Steve Toms said he was also looking forward to the festival and congratulated the committee for their tireless efforts. 

“I say a very big thank-you for putting your hearts and massive effort into this festival,” he said.

Kerrie Nicholls from Tamworth get some advice from Sal Molesworth on local attractions, saying she can't believe there's so much to do here.

Kerrie Nicholls from Tamworth get some advice from Sal Molesworth on local attractions, saying she can't believe there's so much to do here.

Mr Toms also acknowledged everyone from the Glen Innes Severn Council to the Standing Stones Management Board, the Services Club and all the local businesses who get behind the event.

“It is a significant event and it certainly is growing,” he said.

The Glen Innes Visitor Centre is buzzing with festival ticket and merchandie sales as people pour into town.

The Glen Innes Visitor Centre is buzzing with festival ticket and merchandie sales as people pour into town.

Ms Gresham said she had seen much more community involvement this year, with the rugby league club opening up Mead Park for campers, the Pony Club and Netball Club catering the festival BBQ on Friday and Saturday night respectively, generating funds for them.

Quota is providing the hospitality for entertaining at the site and overseeing their merchandise sales, and of course the Lions, Leo and Lionesses will again have their catering van on-site.

The Hospital Auxiliary will be catering the Celtic Dance at the Town Hall, with the Barley Shakers bringing the action.

“Ireland and Scotland tend to be the biggest years, and the 25th anniversary is also drawing others,” Ms Gresham said.