Sometimes it is a challenge to condense the cavalcade of cultural calendar items into one concise column. This week — not so tough. We have one word for you: Celtfest!

Celtfest had its beginnings in the 1820’s with the emigration of the O’Connell family’s ancestors from Ireland to Corkery outside of Almonte. They brought their music with them and in 1996 Brian O’Connell, Dan O’Connell and Terry Currie organized the very first, highly successful Almonte Celtfest. This year’s event is bigger and better than ever with Friday night concerts at area pubs, Saturday main stage concerts starting at 2pm, and Sunday performances from noon to 6pm.

Celtfest is a weekend of Ottawa Valley and Celtic entertainment performed in the excellent natural amphitheatre of Gemmill Park. Celtfest showcases the great traditions and contemporary stylings of Celtic music, song, and dance from the Ottawa Valley and beyond. Celtfest also features outstanding food and refreshments, and a variety of Celtic-inspired crafts. As always, the Gemmill Park events are free, with donations gratefully accepted as you enter the park.

For full details on all of the excitement, visit