23rd Niagara Celtic Heritage Festival & Highland Games

September 14 & 15, 2024 | Saturday 10am-10:30pm; Sunday 10am-7:00pm



Highland Games

Cheer on your favorite athlete as they compete in the centuries' old strongman competitions known as Highland Games. A highlight of Niagara Celtic, our diverse games include Pro, Am, and Open. We host one of the largest multiple division games in the world! Over 60 athletes from across the U.S. and Canada compete in 13 different divisions over 2 days.

highland games
2023 Competitions

Braemar Stone Throw for distance

Caber Pole Toss

Sheaf Toss

Stone Throw:
56 lb. for height
28 lb. for distance
56 lb. for distance

caber pole toss

2023 Divisions


Women's Amateur

40+ Women's Amateur

50+ Women's Amateur

60+ Women's Amateur

40+ Men's Amateur

50+ Men's Amateur

Mens Pro Masters 40+


Men's Amateur Group 1

Men's Amateur Group 2

Men's Pro

50+ Men's Pro

60+ Men's Pro

60+ Men's Amateur

2023 Special Awards:

Athlete of the Day

2nd & 3rd Place All Divisions

Athlete Meet & Greet

Feel free to stop and meet the athletes anytime of the day. We'd be happy to answer questions and/or take photographs. Just make sure we're not growling, snorting or have a heavy stone in our hands!

What are Highland Games?

Ancient Scottish clans defended their territories from one another through their best warriors. Highland chiefs chose warriors based on physically demanding contests held during clan gatherings. Many believe these contests are the basis of modern Highland Games. They evolved over the centuries and now consist of stone, hammer and weight throws, and caber & sheaf tosses.


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After Hours Ceilidh

A Saturday visit to Niagara Celtic is not complete without attending our After Hours Ceilidh (kay-lee)! As sunset nears, a majority of activity wind down so that festival participants, athletes and volunteers can join in the fun!

Our large party includes concerts at the Fireside Stage, relaxing by the fires, and drinks from the Fireside Pub. Some food vendors and artisans remain open so you can shop under the moonlight. Be sure to join us for this wonderful tradition.


Steel City Rovers

The Steel City Rovers perform dynamic and expressive music that is a unique composite of traditional Celtic music and North American styles.


Screaming Orphans

The Screaming Orphans are four sisters who draw on a diverse set of influences, with a strong focus on melody-driven songs with pop and rocks strains.


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Special Events

Not everything during the festival occurs all weekend. Some productions happen for a short time, while others are constantly on the move. Take a look at the special events you can join in on this year.

Lockport Heritage Weekend
Exclusive Off-Site Event:
Lockport Heritage Celebration

Alongside Clan Village (in Highland Park) you can  hop onboard the free Discover Niagara Shuttle. Enjoy an off-site trip to nearby tourism stops. Your wristband allows you to easily re-enter when you return.

Featuring the premiere of the completed Lock Tenders Tribute Monument. The monument is a bronze figure replica of an 1897 photo of Lockport Locks Tenders sitting on the Locks stairway.

bard of basswood
Bard of Basswood

At various times during the festival you'll find the Bard telling wonderful tales under The Storyteller's Tree. You may also get to meet him whenever our favorite tree wanders the grounds!


British Car Club of WNY
British Car Club of WNY

Saturday Only

Come see just a few of the wonderful cars displayed by the WNY BCC. Their primary purpose is two-fold: to foster camaraderie and good will among enthusiasts of British cars, and to exchange ideas and technical expertise attendant to the restoration and preservation of British cars.

calling of the clans
Calling of the Clans Ceremony

Saturday Only

Saturday at sun-high in Fiddler's Green, join us for a special ceremony to honor all the clans in attendance for the weekend. Historically, Calling of the Clans was a gathering of clans in preparation for battle, unifying the clans as one. Today, it signifies connections we share within our families, heritage and community.


ceremonial fires
Ceremonial Fires

A magical part of Niagara Celtic from the beginning, guests and participants gather around the Fire Keepers' weekend-long fires. They host various ceremonies, including Calling of the Clans, Beltane rituals, Wishing Tree Send-Off, and Ceilidh Celebration. Each fire begins with the ashes of the year before, making our 'eternal' flames the perfect gathering place for all to share and celebrate Celtic heritage.


grand finale concert
Grand Finale Concert w/ Steel City Rovers

Sunday Only

The Fireside Stage is the final gathering place as Niagara Celtic winds down after an amazing weekend. The Grand Finale Concert features a fan-favorite band. Make sure to stay until the end and take part in a favorite finale tradition, The Parting Glass Farewell (see below).


haggis eating competition
Haggis Eating Competition

Saturday Only

Sponsored by ScottishStoreOnline. Do you have what it takes to eat your way to the top prize? Enter our annual Haggis Eating Competition, held during the Ceilidh. This is always great fun for participants and spectators! Limited participation; sign-up at the competition sponsor's tent on Saturday afternoon.


memorial service
Memorial Service

Sunday Only

Each year we honor volunteers and festival supporters who have passed away in the last year. The service takes place at The Motte & Bailey Arena and includes dedications, remembrances and gifts to their loved ones. Participating in the service include clans and Newfane American Legion Post 873.


music at the fires
Music at the Fires

Saturday Only

As the sun begins to set, head to Fiddler's Green for a one-of-a-kind experience. Pipers and musicians unite, surrounding our ceremonial fires as they kick-off the Ceilidh Celebration with wonderful performances and sing-a-longs. Don't miss being a part of this very special event!


the parting glass farewell
The Parting Glass Farewell

Sunday Only

This 17th century song is sung as the final hospitality offered to departing guests. Following the Grand Finale Concert we all gather to say thanks and farewell to Niagara Celtic...until next year! The performance is led by a different guest or group each year, so you never know who will surprise you with their own rendition.


sun-high parades
Sun-High Parades

Participants can include clans, groups, living historians and Massed Band performances. Special ceremonies may follow. They are held at noon each day in Madoc Yard.


wishing tree send-off
Wishing Tree Send-Off

Sunday Only

The Wishing Tree is where wishes are gathered from guests and participants all weekend. In order for the wishes to properly heard, it's a tradition to burn the wishes so the words are sent to the skies and received by the spirits or wee folk. Join the Fire Keepers and Niagara Celtic staff along the ceremonial fires, as we officially send off the wishes in hopes many will be answered!



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