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
2024 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

* 2024 info arrives this summer *  


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

2024 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.



Taking inspiration from Celtic history, stories and myth, SYR creates powerful songs with themes of battle, love and victory, celebrating the rich heritage of the Celtic Nations in a ontemporary style with broad audience appeal. 


Bastard Bearded Irishman

Bastard Bearded Irishmen concerts are a non-stop barrage of party anthems, dancing tunes and maybe even the occasional whiskey-fueled ballad. The experience is always organic, and sometimes, unpredictable. They’re hard-partying and always in good spirit!


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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.

be witched buffalo
Be Witched Buffalo New!

Be Witched Buffalo specializes in fun and folksy dancing that highlights old European styles. Catch their shows all weekend and enjoy unique dances filled with heritage & seasonal flair!


Buffalo Aerial Dance
Buffalo Aerial Dance New!

Buffalo Aerial Dance offers an array of classes year-round in a variety of specialties. Their performances showcase the best in silks, ropes and more. Make sure to plan your Niagara Celtic visit to include their exclusive showcases.


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/ Glengarry Bhoys

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 The Scottish Cottage. 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. Fire Keepers and Niagara Celtic staff  officially send off the wishes later on Sunday, in hopes many will be answered!



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