It all starts at 6:00 pm on Friday offering Celtic music on the main stage and more than a dozen (free to the public) workshops that provide lessons in traditional folk dance, sword play and acrobatics, athletics, traditional musical instruments and historic living.
On Saturday the Festival kicks off with nearly 100 pipers parading through the Festival grounds to the opening ceremony hosted by the mayor of Saline who welcomes an average of 3,500 attendees to enjoy: Celtic music and dance performances and instruction on multiple stages; competitors from as away as Australia who compete in the International Jousting Match; athletes from all over the country vying for champion status in Highland Athletics; youth dancers travelling from all across North America to compete in the Highland Dance Competition; Wee Folks Island where children 3-12 years old can do various Celtic crafts, hear story tellers, and participate in games such as bean bag haggis toss and archery; visit Millie the Mill Pond Monster; check out Celtic K9 breeds; watching the weavers creating various tartans and weaves including the Millie the Mill Pond Monster Tartan, designed by our own Mary Underwood; exhibitions in sword play, historic encampments; and acrobatics; to partake in the foods and wares being offered by various artisans; and to enjoy the shade.
The City of Saline managed the Saline Celtic Festival beginning in 1996, handling all finances and appointing a volunteer oversight committee to plan & present the Festival. On April 26, 2011, a new nonprofit corporation was incorporated in the State of Michigan as Friends of the Festival. Friends of the Festival was recognized by the IRS as an organization described in Internal Revenue Code Section 501(c)(3) in 2013. The organization was formed by volunteers. Friends of the Festival oversees all financial management of funds, secures and manages grant funding, enters into contract on behalf of the Michigan DBAs "Saline Celtic Festival" and "Saline Craft Beer Festival", secures and recognizes sponsors and other contributors, secures insurance and licensing for the Festival and establishes policy and protocol for a safe and engaging event.