Shortly after opening Donegal Square, the concept of creating a Celtic Festival in Bethlehem was presented to Neville by a local business man which would be named Celtic Fest. Neville is very proud of his heritage and has always had a strong desire to share his knowledge with the community so the opportunity to educate people about Celtic Culture and Northern Ireland peaked his interest. For years he had been frustrated by the negative connotation and mis-information about Northern Ireland and hoped this type of event would help opposing sides in Ireland and show that we need to celebrate each other’s cultures instead of fighting over them.
Neville’s idea was that a festival such as this could help to pay it forward and create a better society. This cultural event — celebrating all Celtic Culture — was born with that the hope that somehow word would travel back home and would improve the situation in Northern Ireland.
This festival is truly about experiencing the Celtic culture through a variety activities, music, food, performances and crafts. Donegal Square has been helping support, promote, develop and market Celtic Classic and the Celtic Cultural Alliance since its inception in 1987.
a mission beyond
The mission of the Celtic Cultural Alliance is to promote and preserve Celtic Culture. The CCA’s flagship event is the Celtic Classic Highland Games and Festival held each September in Bethlehem. The Celtic Classic, celebrating its 30th anniversary in 2017, is a three-day celebration of all things Celtic: music, dancing, crafts, food and Highland games.
In addition to the Celtic Classic, the Celtic Cultural Alliance offers year-round educational programming in art, music, language, and much more. Each year, the CCA awards scholarships to young students studying Celtic music and dance, thus ensuring that the younger generation continues to embrace the Celtic traditional arts.
For more information, visit www.celticfest.org.