High Desert Celtic Festival

Oregon Tartan


The High Desert Celtic Festival is definitely our biggest event. It’s always the second Saturday in August. It is so big that it really goes on for three days. Set-up and pub crashing, the festival and Céilidh (After party pronounced kay-lee), and Sunday morning when everyone crawls out of their tents and tries to pretend they survived the Céilidh and has breakfast. That is the official Oregon tartan shown above!

For photography it’s a blast.

The Celtic Festival has, drinking, singing, dancing, drinking, bands, athletic competitions, drinking, crafts, food, drinking, occasionally a wedding, pipers,

Set up involves getting the tea house tent up. Getting the tea house tent back up after the wind rips through, getting our own space set up and then…..PUB CRASHING!

festival pub crawl


We gather the pipers and drummers, sometimes in the back of a pick-up (we are still in Oregon, remember?) and we go crash all the local pubs. The pipe and drummers get ready in the parking lots in the dark and then march in playing "Scotland The Brave" they play a set, then have a round and we move on to the next pub. My husband is usually the good sport designated driver.

Sadly, this last year all the pubs had closed so we just had to sit around the campground and drink. Can you imagine???

So, after partying until late, we all get up, get our stuff set up and play all day. HIgh Desert Celtic Festival Athletics, including the caber toss…which translates into a large kilted man (in this case, my son), throwing a telephone pole as far as he can but it must flip over first are hugely popular. People come from many states to compete.

festival caber toss


The pipers warm up and there’s crafts, dancing, drinking……and my favorite, the calling of the clans.

That is when all the clan names get called and I get to shout CLAN LIVNGSTONE/MACLEA IS HERE! (We have two names because we got in twice as much trouble.)

I don’t usually have any photos of that because I’m in it.

I couldn't pass up a little HDR Photography fun here.

festival pipers


Then on to the blessed bosoms (I’m in that one too) and the bonnie knees contests. Often a tattoo contest for both men and women and on and on the day goes.

festival-bonnie knees



As it gets dark, everyone packs up their booths and we start the Céilidh. This is our time to wind down, listen to great music, catch up with old friends and this year Mike spread the ashes of his beloved wife who he married 9 years before at The Festival. I learned this year that Mike is my cousin.

Even the band gets a chance to wind down and commune with the music sprites.

festival Michael Holmes


We don’t have a camper yet and my husband says we’re too old for tents, meaning he’s too old for a tent. We live close enough to go home and aren’t there for High Desert Celtic Festival Sunday breakfast but next year…..


High Desert Celtic Festival


Clan Maclea-Livingstone Information


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