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Knysna Celtic Festival expands to include George

Thursday, 08 February 2018 14:03 Written by  Martin Hatchuel
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The 4th Knysna Celtic Festival Sponsored by Lew Geffen | Sotheby’s International Realty Knysna will include two new events: a Celtic concert in the Garden Route’s capital, George, on Thursday, 22 February, and a prestigious tug of war competition during the Festival’s Highland Games in Knysna on the 24th.

• Concert in George added to the Festival programme
• SA National tug of war squad will compete in Festival’s Highland Games
• Festival will again raise funds for Knysna’s Sea Cadets

The Knysna & Districts Pipe Band will join the 32-piece Carpe Musicam! Orchestra, and the 38-voice Carpe Musicam! Choir in the Eden Community Hall in George for a concert of popular Celtic music - including tunes like Highland Cathedral (which has been proposed as Scotland’s national anthem), and The Gael (the theme from the movie, The Last of the Mohicans).
“We’re very excited to extend the Knysna Celtic Festival to the people of George - which is one of the ‘districts’ of the Knysna & Districts Pipe Band,” said Festival organising committee member, Pipe Major Steve Collins.

PM Collins said that a limited number of tickets are now available for The Festival’s Friday evening Ceilidh (kay-lee: a traditional Scottish or Irish pub evening with music and dance), which will take place in The Bell Celtic Pub, which will be erected as usual for the Festival at Loerie Park.
“The top Scottish harpist and composer, Catriona McKay, and the award-winning Shetland fiddler, Chris Stout - who will both star in Saturday night’s Celtic Concert - will perform at the Ceilidh, which will also include a Battle of the Ceilidh Bands, and a traditional ‘Address to the Haggis’ (although more - er - palatable meals will be available from quality food vendors in the grounds),” he said.

PM Collins said that the annual Massed Pipes and Drums parade - which will take place in Knysna’s Main Street from 9:30 a.m. on Saturday, 24 February - will include the country’s only street march competition, and has attracted pipe bands and highland dancers from Johannesburg, Port Elizabeth, Cape Town, and KwaZulu-Natal.
“From there, the focus will move to Loerie Park for the rest of the day, where our Highland Gathering will feature both school-level, and senior-level tug of war competitions.”
PM Collins said that the South African national men’s and women’s tug of war squads will compete in a regional open competition (another first for the Festival) - and that the event will act as a training and selection competition in the run-up to the Tug of War International Federation’s World Outdoor Championships, which will take place in Cape Town in September.

“Our Highland Gathering will also include piping and drumming competitions, as well as a Highland dancing competition, and Highland games like tossing the caber, keg tossing, barrow races, an archery competition, and more,” he said.

Saturday’s highlight is expected to be the Festival’s always popular Sundowners Celtic Concert at Loerie Park, which will begin at 6:30 p.m.
The Concert will feature Catriona McKay and Chris Stout, the Knysna & Districts Pipe Band, Jenny & The Jameses, Blacksmith, and the Carpe Musicam! Orchestra, as well as Scottish Highland dancers from Pretoria’s O'Leary Studio, and Irish dancers from Cape Town’s Celtic Dance Tapestry - with food and drink provided by the stallholders and The Bell Celtic Pub.

“As usual, the major portion of the proceeds from ticket sales will go to Knysna’s Sea Cadets, which does incredible work amongst the youth of our town, and which has been instrumental in preparing many youngsters for careers at sea,” said PM Collins.
“The Festival has raised around R 125,000 for the Cadets over the years, and this year we’re hoping to beat the figure of R25,000 - which is what we donated to them in 2017,” he said.

• Tickets for the concert in George on Thursday 22 February (the Carpe Musicam! Orchestra and Carpe Musicam! Choir with the Knysna & Districts Pipe Band in the Eden Community Hall) are available from Sotheby’s International Realty offices in George at R150.00;
• A limited number of tickets for The Bell Ceilidh at Loerie Park on Friday 23 February (R125.00), are available from all Sotheby’s International Realty offices in Knysna.
• Reserved seats for the Sundowners Celtic Concert at Loerie Park on Saturday 24 February (R150.00), are available from all Sotheby’s International Realty offices in Knysna, Sedgefield, and Plettenberg Bay. (Tickets for open seating for Saturday’s concert will be sold at the gate on the 24th).
• Sundowners Celtic Concert tickets include free entry to the Highland Gathering on Saturday.

More information:
• Knysna Celtic Festival on Facebook (https://web.facebook.com/pg/Knysna-Celtic-Festival-431494573603501/about/?ref=page_internal)
• Catriona McKay www.catrionamckay.co.uk
• Chris Stout on Wikipedia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chris_Stout
• Carpe Musicam! (Seize the music!): https://normancarless.wixsite.com/carpemusicam/carpe-musicam


Media release for the Knysna & Districts Pipe Band by Martin Hatchuel
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 084 951 0574

IMAGES: Please credit www.ellephoto.co.za. Please contact Martin Hatchuel for images in high res

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