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Catching the Celtic spirit
Annual Dunedin festival coming to Highlander Park
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Photo courtesy of FLEMING ARTISTS
Hailing from Toronto, Enter The Haggis takes the stage Nov. 17 at Dunedin’s annual Celtic Festival.
DUNEDIN – The annual Dunedin Celtic Festival is Saturday, Nov. 17, 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m., at Highlander Park, Dunedin Community Center, 1920 Pinehurst Road.

Admission is $10 in advance and $15 at the gate. Parking is free.

Highlander Park will once again come alive with some of the best Celtic rock bands in the world.

This year, the Celtic Festival will feature local favorite Seven Nations as well as Brother, Arvel Bird and Enter the Haggis.

Along with traditional Celtic craft vendors and plenty of food vendors to choose from, the entire day will be full of things to see and do.

Attendees also can expect to see and hear the Dunedin Highland Middle School, Dunedin High School and the City of Dunedin Pipe Bands.

Along with the city’s annual Highland Games in the spring, the Celtic Festival reflects the rich American and Scottish heritage of Dunedin’s founding fathers. The festival helps secure and promote its colorful past and reminds residents and visitors alike of its connection to Scotland. In commemoration of its ancestral ties, Dunedin selected Stirling, Scotland, and Summerside, Prince Edward Island as its sister cities.

Celtic music

Members of Seven Nations pride themselves on the fact that they are “not your father’s Celtic band,” as the group’s website states.

Seven Nations is known for a passionate, tender and rollicking style that encompasses everything from roots and traditional folk to dance and fusion-rock. The band is also famous for a relentless touring schedule, sometimes spending more than 300 days a year on the road.

Touring full-time since 1994, Seven Nations has performed in Europe, Canada, Puerto Rico, and virtually every state in the United States. They performed an entire show with the Columbus Symphony Orchestra at the Dublin Irish Festival as well as performing at the Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, a New Year’s Eve concert at Scotland’s Royal Mile and at the New York City Marathon.

The name Seven Nations refers to the seven nations of the Celtic world, now known as Scotland, Ireland, Wales, Brittany, Cornwall, the Isle of Man and Gallaecia.

Fusing signature vocals and guitar with the deep pulse of the didgeridoo, the soaring highs of the bagpipes and tribal percussion, Brother is truly a unique powerhouse in the industry.

The Australian band’s live performances are described as an energetic celebration, captivating and engaging audience members from the first song to the last. They have shared the stage with Joe Walsh, John Entwhistle, Linkin Park and Alicia Keys. They are the only independent band to have played the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

According to the group’s website, Brother has self-released a dozen albums and sold more CDs in the United States than other independent Australian acts. The band features founding member Angus Richardson along with Dave “Dalbo” Allen and Drew Reid.

Arvel Bird, a violinist and Native American flutist, is known around the world for his dramatic fusion of Celtic and Native American traditions.

Dubbed “Lord of the Strings” by his fans, Bird’s music evokes the soul of North American history. Enlightening and humanizing, his music speaks a language and experience that captures the hearts of all audiences.

Bird’s continuously evolving music continues to delight audiences worldwide. His most recent album, “Titanic Centennial: Commemorative Special Edition,” released in January, is a blend of traditional cultural music in honor of the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the RMS Titanic. A

The Toronto roots rock band Enter The Haggis is a true grassroots success story.

The band’s latest release, “Whitelake,” was recorded at a rustic cottage surrounded by Canada’s picturesque landscape, and funded entirely through the generous contributions of loyal fans. “Whitelake” occupies a musical space that lies somewhere between the fiercely creative and contemporary soundscapes of Radiohead, and the heartfelt story telling and infectious grooves of The Band.

Five albums and a decade on the road have seen Enter The Haggis evolve from wildly popular local band to established international touring act. Their formula for success has been a simple one: record great music, back it up with inspired live performances, and tour constantly. This will be the band’s first appearance at the annual Dunedin Celtic Festival.

The Dunedin Highland Games & Festival Committee, a nonprofit organization run by volunteers, which provides support for Scottish bands of the Dunedin Middle School, Dunedin High School and City of Dunedin, organizes the festival. The Celtic Festival is a benefit concert for Dunedin’s Scottish bands.

For information, visit www.d­unedi­nhigh­landg­ames.­com.
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