When Andy Lowe sings about Sudbury, it's hard to miss his English accent. Even though his songs may be lyrically dedicated to his hometown, there's no mistaking his roots.
That's what the Celtic Festival and Highland Games are all about.
“We're bringing the traditions of the old country and adapting it to the new environment,” Lowe said.
The sixth annual festival is returning to Sacre Coeur May 31 and June 1, with even more to do. This year, the festival includes the “best of the best” of years gone by, according to festival director Derek Young.
“The fun, the magic, the intrigue” of Celtic cultures will shine through song, storytelling and the discovery of history, he said.
Local musicians like Lowe, as well as Kai Santala with Keith and Baz, the Laurentian University Pipe Band, Trinity Toe Tappers and Irish Heritage Club Youth Dancers will perform classical tunes and audience favourites, while those hailing from Irish, Scottish, Welsh and French Canadian descent will be enlightened with tales of their ancestors.
“It's about taking pride in your culture, learning more about your culture,” Young said.
The Highland Dance Competition, as well as the strongman games will be returning, along with the highlight of last year's event.
For the second time, the Knights of Valour will be bringing their live jousting tournament and informative sessions for the whole family to the festival. They will also be bringing the Birds of Prey as part of their demonstration.
The first day of the festival ends with A Knight to Remember Medieval Feast at the Quality Inn, featuring Duncan Cameron, who headlined the inaugural festival in 2008. The second day also wraps up with a dinner and the main attraction — the final jousting tournament.
With the festival back at Sacre Coeur, there will be plenty of coverage in case of rain, so the festival is set to go. Tickets can now be purchased online for $5.50 for the day.
Tickets to the tournament cost $15.50 for adults, which includes day admission, and $5.50 for children 12 and under. Children five and under are admitted for free all weekend.
For more information about the festival, visit www.sudburycelticfestival.com.