Five pipe & drum bands to perform at Saline Celtic Festival

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 06/30/2018 - 15:01
The stirring sounds of bagpipes and drums will resound at the Saline Celtic Festival.


Motor City Pipes & Drums from Troy will make their debut at this year’s Saline Celtic Festival, July 13-14 in Mill Pond Park.


Founded last September by a few seasoned pipers and drummers, the band plans to carry on the tradition of its mentor, the late Bill O’Donnell, pipe major of Michigan Scottish Pipes and Drums.


“Our vision is to perform and compete at a high level, with great sounding, entertaining music,” says spokesperson Kim Johnson. “Members of our band have previously performed with other pipe bands at the Saline Celtic Festival—it’s always been a fun day of piping! We’re honored and excited to be invited to perform at the 2018 Saline Celtic Festival, for our very first performance as Motor City Pipes & Drums.”


The new band joins four returning favorites:

  • Cabar Feidh Pipes and Drums from Royal Oak, in the Modern Wilson tartan and Stags Head cap badge, modeled off the Seaforth Highlanders. The band was formed in 1993.
  •  Flint Scottish Pipe Band, the oldest continuously running Pipe Band in Michigan, founded in 1916 by Scottish immigrants intent on preserving their heritage through the music and dress of their homeland.
  • Glen Erin Pipe Band, the only pipe and drum band in Lansing
  • Grand Rapids and District Pipe Band, formed in 1968 and celebrating its 50th anniversary


“The bands represent the best in Michigan and generally place in the top positions in local competitions such as the games at Alma, and the St. Andrew’s games in Livonia,” says chairperson Tom Todd, long-time chairperson for the band performances.


The massed bands will lead Saturday’s Opening Ceremony with a processional at 11 a.m. then each band will perform individually on the Glasgow Stage throughout the afternoon. A bagpiper will lead the Wee Folks parade at 4:30 p.m. and at 5:00 p.m. the massed bands will gather together to play on “Piper’s Hill” near the park entrance.


Fast facts:

Friday, July 13: CrossBow and Brother Crowe will perform at Pub Night in Mill Pond Park that also features Ring of Steel; Limerick Contest; Mr. Pretty Legs competition; and workshops. Gates open at 5:30 p.m., and fun runs to 11:30 p.m. Admission $5, under 13 free.

Saturday, July 14: Gates at Mill Pond Park open 10 a.m., opening ceremonies 11 a.m.

Performers include the Corktown Popes, Steel City Rovers, Brother Crowe, CrossBow, Finvarra’s Wren, Peat in the Creel, Roane, and Saline Fiddlers, and many more.

Jousting, historical reenactments, Highland dance competitions, Millie the Mill Pond Monster, Wee Folks Island, The Kilted Magician, sheep herding, Highland Athletics, pipe bands, textile arts, merchant village, and a Craft Beer Festival

Tickets at the gate: $15/adults; $10/ages 65 and up; $5/ages 13-17; free/ages 12 and under, and active military.

Advance tickets at $10/ adults; group of 10/$80.

Pre-event tickets $10 at Saline City Hall during festival week.

Free parking with shuttles.

No pets allowed.


Sheila Pursglove's picture
Sheila Pursglove
Sheila Pursglove is a long-time Saline-area resident, and a freelance writer for several publications in Michigan, around the U.S. and abroad.