Why We Love The Highland Celtic Festival

Looking for a unique adventure stashed away on the edge of the Olympic Peninsula? This Labor Day, The Hood Canal Highland Celtic Festival will deliver the backwoods goods with unexpected events and a host of activities that we’re pretty sure you’ve never heard of (think Renaissance Festival with a Scottish twist). A kilt isn’t required, but you’ll definitely get bonus points for wearing one.


WHEN: September 3 - 4, 2016

WHERE: Belfair State Park

MORE INFO/RSVP: Highland Celtic Fest on Facebook


1. The Games

If you don’t yet know anything about Hammer, Sheaf, Braemar, or Stone, you’ll get your fill this Labor Day weekend at the Highland Celtic Festival. Clans with long, traceable Celtic heritage meet at a number of Highland Celtic Festivals all over the country to battle it out playing these ancient Scottish games.

Grab a pint, choose a clan to root for, and be sure to catch Caber—in which competitors toss a 19.5-foot tapered pole. Traditionally, it’s made from a larch tree and weighs around 175 pounds. Some say that’s where Crossfit was born…just kidding.

Have little ones that want to join in on the fun? The Hood Canal Highland Celtic festival has games for kids too!


2. The Sheepdog Herding

Every year one of the most anticipated events on the Highland Celtic Festival is the sheepdog demo. Truly, it’s hard to resist watching a working dog showing off his stuff!

Spectators stand by as a dog, under the command of his handler, herds a flock of sheep around an open space, displaying precision, obedience, and speed. He is rewarded with treats and cheers from the audience once the sheep have been herded successfully into a small pen.


3. Belfair State Park

This year’s gathering will mark the fifth year in a row for this event. Though it’s a relatively young festival, turnout is always impressive. Last year, 12,000 people showed up to celebrate!

There’s hardly a more picturesque backdrop to a Celtic Festival than the prolific green flora and topography of Hood Canal. Though these festivals take place in many different places around the world, there can't possibly be a location that better evokes lush, green Scotland than the Olympic Peninsula.

Taste the festival’s own Digger’s Well Bourbon Whiskey, grab some good eats, and visit over 20 different merchandise vendors. When you hear the sound of the bagpipes, you’ll all but forget that you’re not in the Scottish Highlands. Need a place to stay? Check out lodging in the area to book a place to wake up refreshed and ready to go on Sunday.

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