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Published on March 13th, 2018 | by Millennium Magazine Staff

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Tartan Day South Celtic Festival

Major Midlands event soars to new heights across the region and benefits the River Alliance; Osceola the bald eagle makes feature appearance. 

(Cayce, S.C.) – The Tartan Day South Celtic Festival, March 22-25, 2018, continues to spread its wings figuratively and literally in its 8th annual installment. Benefitting the River Alliance, the event will touch four cities with four different events in four days, all without leaving the greater Columbia, S.C. region. The main event is the day-long “Tartan Day South Highland Games & Celtic Festival,” at the Historic Columbia Speedway in Cayce on Sat., March 24. Find details at http://www.tartandaysouth.com.

This one-of-a-kind celebration in the Midlands area drew more than 10,500 patrons from 25 states in 2017. The festival is produced with and will benefit the nonprofit River Alliance, raising funds to increase accessibility to the rivers that are some of the greatest natural resources in the Midlands of South Carolina.

One of the exciting new attractions for 2018 is a rescued bald eagle, Osceola, who will be on display at two of the events in Cayce and Lexington, S.C. Patrons will be able to get up-close and personal with this majestic bird.

Four Days of Family Fun

Tartan Day South kicks off Thursday, March 22 at 7:00 p.m. in Columbia at the British Bulldog Pub with the opening night party. Friday March 23 at 6:00 p.m., the festival presents “Celtic Commotion” in Lexington at the Icehouse Amphitheater on Main Street. This will be an evening of great live music and exhibitions including Lady Liberty’s debut. Saturday March 24, 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. is the main event, the “Tartan Day South Highland Games & Celtic Festival,” at the Historic Columbia Speedway in Cayce. The festival wraps at the West Columbia Riverwalk Amphitheater on March 25 at 11:00 a.m. with the annual “Kirkin’ of the Tartans on the River” service. View the full schedule at http://www.tartandaysouth.com.

Highland Games and More on Saturday, March 24

Highland Games date back over 1,000 years in Scotland and are the anchor of the main event on Saturday, March 24, which occupies the entire historic speedway footprint. The games are accompanied by a range of activities including traditional dancing; mass pipe bands; sheep dog herding; birds of prey; traditional food & drink vendors from across the Southeast; a classic British car show; genealogy; Celtic clans & societies; archery; a Celtic marketplace, a medieval encampment; a college Quidditch tournament; and a kids’ play area with rides.

“There is a little something for every member of the family. We have added fun presentations to our Heritage Tent about the popular TV show ‘Outlander’ and Scottish history,” says John Banks, festival co-coordinator. “We want to make sure that there is always something new to see at Tartan Day South.”

Osceola the Bald Eagle

Bald eagle Osceola’s story begins in 1983 in a field in eastern Arkansas. Two rabbit hunters were crossing this field when they spotted an immature bald eagle on the ground, trying to become airborne. Through careful efforts the young eagle was rescued. Unfortunately, he lost a wing in the process. Since being rescued, Osceola has flown in a different way, his handler worked with federal agencies and was able to take flight on hang gliding trips. Osceola has been a part of educating more than half a million patrons on the wonder of these amazing birds. He has even appeared on the “Today Show.” Guests can get up close and personal with Osceola at Celtic Commotion on Friday, March 23 at the Lexington Amphitheatre, as well as at the Tartan Day South Highland Games & Celtic Festival on Saturday, March 24 in Cayce. Osceola is just one of the amazing rescued birds of prey that will be part of the “Wings to Soar” show on Saturday.

“We are very excited to share portions of the Tartan Day South festival in so many areas. Our visiting patrons will be able to see many parts of the area we call home,” states Banks. “The Midlands area is a great place to live, and the River Alliance keeps improving the accessibility to our awesome natural resources.”

Ticket information, schedules and all details are available at http://www.tartandaysouth.com. Join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter by following @TartanDaySouth and using the hashtags #TartanDaySouth and #TartanFun. 

About Tartan Day South

Tartan Day South is a celebration of Celtic heritage and the impact that Scots, Irish, Welsh and Scots-Irish have had on the history of the Columbia, S.C. region. The festival strives to highlight that impact through activities on the field and throughout the area, including Highland Games, traditional music performances and more. Tartan Day South was conceived by John Banks with the Historic Columbia Speedway and is co-produced by John Banks and Donovan Murray of Celtic Force Enterprises. Partial proceeds benefit the River Alliance. Learn more at http://www.tartandaysouth.com

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