Saline Celtic Festival to host July 8 ‘Dance Party in the Park’


The Saline Celtic Festival will kick off the evening of Friday, July 8, with a “Dance Party in the Park," featuring live music; free music/dance workshops; Mr. Pretty Legs in a Kilt competition; beer tent and food; and a sneak peek behind the scenes as Saturday’s activities get set up.

Enda Reilly, a folk singer, songwriter and guitarist from Ireland, will launch the musical entertainment, followed by the Celtic music duo Ironwood, the husband-wife couple of Mark Pierce and Anna Dorsey that has performed at Motor City Irish Fest, Michigan Renaissance Festival, Michigan Irish Music Festival, Arts Beats & Eats Festival of Royal Oak, Chicago Irish American Heritage Center, and the A.O.H. in Redford.

“Ironwood is counting down the days until our Friday night performance,” Mark says. “The Celtic community has warmly welcomed us in the recent years, and we’re grateful to be a part of this event. We'll be performing some of our favorite Irish-inspired tunes from our recently released album, Gretna Green. See you there!”

The Codgers from Detroit feature acoustic guitar, accordion, mandolin, banjo, fiddle, bodhrán, bass, and vocal harmonies all mixed into a unique Celtic-tinged Americana sound.

Headlining the evening is the band The Phoenix Theory. “We love playing outdoor summer festivals—it’s where live music thrives and we’re specifically looking forward to the Saline Celtic Fest! It's been a long time since we’ve played in Saline,” says Dan Mazur. “We play a mix of tightly rehearsed dance and rock hits from the 1960s through today with a big emphasis on vocal harmony. With four lead singers, we can cover a lot of ground through different genres and deliver the music you love to hear, played the way you remember it.”

A fiddle workshop will be led by Detroit musician Marty Somberg, who has performed with Finvarra’s Wren, The Contrapreneurs, Sharon Hollow String Band, Big Fun, Celtic Thunder, The Bonny Doon String Band, The Graniog Ceili Band, and Knock-na-Shee. Michael Bean and V. Cieri, from Black Murray will provide music for Contra and Ceili dances.

“I’m just delighted to have these fine musicians performing for us,” says workshop organizer Marilyn Geyer.

Other free workshops are Step Dance, Tin Whistle, Bodhran, Sea Shanty singing; and there will be an adult Irish Dancing Group.

The gates on July 8 open at 5 p.m. The cost is $8; $5 for ages 6 to 17; active military members and children 5 and under free.

On Saturday, July 9, the festival runs 11 a.m. through midnight, with music from The Moxie Strings, Crossbow, Brother Crowe, Nessa, and the Saline Fiddlers; Highland dance competition, pipe & drums bands, living history, music and dance performances, ancient athletics, Wee Folks Island, jousting, sheep herding, clans, textile demonstrations, free workshops in Step Dance and Tin Whistle, Ring of Steel, beer tent, food vendors and merchants—and “Millie the Mill Pond Monster.”

Saturday tickets: Adults $15/advance; $18 at the gate; ages 65+ $8/advance; $10/at the gate; ages 6-17 $5; age 5 and under and active military free. Group packages available.

Free parking and free shuttles both days.


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