Tucson Celtic Festival Brings Celtic Cuisine & A Pop-Up Pub To Rillito Park

Celtic Festival

Nov. 7, 9–5 pm

4502 N 1st Ave
More Info

If you thought you had to wait until March to celebrate your Celtic roots with food, drinks and music, prepare for a pleasant surprise.

The 2015 Tucson Celtic Festival brings the heritage and culture of Ireland, Scotland and Wales to Rillito Raceway Park for two days of live entertainment, dancing, athletics, and of course, comfort food, whisky and beer. The festival kicks off Friday night with “Pirate Pub Night”, then officially begins Saturday, November 7, at 9am, and runs until 5pm on Sunday, November 8.

Food vendors include the Scottish Pie Shop, High Seas Fish & Chips, and many more. In addition, the Welsh Baker will be offering a tea room with Welsh cakes, tea, and scones and Q Confections will be providing cookies decorated with Celtic designs.

Balance out the hearty cuisine with $10 whisky tastings on Saturday and Sunday and small distillery rum tastings on Friday night during the Pirate Pub Night. The Festival recommends stopping by the Whisky Tasting Tent when you arrive to reserve your spot, as each tasting only admits 40 guests.

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The Village Pub will offer refreshments throughout the festival, including “a fine array of Celtic brews”, such as Kilt Lifter, Tennents Lager, Four Peaks Oatmeal Stout and Magner’s Cider. The pub will also serve wine, mead and an assortment of single malt Scotch.

Musical acts Young Dubliners and Potcheen will perform all day Saturday and Sunday, along with massed Bagpipe Bands, while the Dance Stage hosts Irish & Scottish performances. Saturday night includes a concert and fire dance performers, ending at 10pm.

Explore offerings from Celtic merchants, the heritage and cultural Booths, participate in Highland Athletics, and bring the kids for games, crafts, jumping castles, storytelling, and even junior Highland Athletics games.

For Pirate Pub Night on Friday, dress as your favorite Pirate (everyone has one) and enjoy a concert featuring POTCHEEN, a folk band. You won’t want to miss the “Best Legs In a Kilt” contests – one for ladies and one for men, of course. A portion of each ticket sold goes to Retired Paws, supporting retired police, military, and public service dogs.

For more information, visit tucsoncelticfestival.org.

Theresa is a copywriter, food explorer and pursuer of all things creative. Find her at theresadelaney.com.