Glen Innes Australian Celtic Festival will go ahead in 2021

The Celtic festival is set to go ahead in 2021.
The Celtic festival is set to go ahead in 2021.

The Australian Celtic Festival, a signature event held annually in Glen Innes, has been given the green light for the festivities to go ahead in 2021.

Unfortunately the ongoing impact of COVID-19 forced this year's festival to be cancelled.

Glen Innes Severn Council mayor Carol Sparks is glad the festival will go ahead next year.

"Not holding the Australian Celtic Festival again for the second year running would have been another huge blow to our community," she said.

Held at the Australian Standing Stones, the event offers a unique Celtic experience for all age groups to immerse themselves in Celtic music, dance, fashion, reenactments, parades, pipe bands, clans and poets.

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The decision was made at the ordinary council meeting on November 26 to conduct a smaller, more focused Australian Celtic Festival (ACF) in May 2021.

Plans agreed upon by council indicate the festival will be conducted on a smaller scale, and will be spilt between two venues, including the Centennial Parklands National monument, the Australian Standing Stones site and ACF overflow carpark area over two days, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It may not be business as usual at the festival, however the format will still be a celebration of Celtic music and culture encompassing bands, stall holders, dancers and other performers.

"Our experienced tourism and events team and volunteers are confident and determined to facilitate a successful event under COVID-safe regulations," council's general manager Craig Bennett said.

"With the predicted increase in regional tourism, it is events like our Australian Celtic Festival here in Glen Innes that keeps our community and businesses engaged and supported."

Some of the events will not be able to go ahead including the street parade and some of the wider events held within the community.

However the event will be organised to ensure that many of the cultural traditions that the Australian Celtic Festival has developed over the years will continue in line with NSW Health guidelines.

"Spring boarding off the success of the Christmas in the Highlands event held on November 26, we're as confident as we can be that it is possible to have a larger event in a COVID-safe way," council's economic development manager Margot Davis said.