24th Annual KVMR Celtic Music Festival and Marketplace

The 24th Annual KVMR Celtic Festival and Marketplace mixes Celtic music and magic September 27th through 29th in Grass Valley, California at the Nevada County Fairgrounds, a bucolic setting on 100 acres among giant ponderosa pines. There are eight stages and performance areas.  Our main stage hosts many of the best Celtic musicians on the world stage.

The Nevada County Fairgrounds is transformed into a Celtic Village and headline concert venue. Mainstage musical headliners for this year include Seven Nations (Saturday), Skerryvore (Sunday), Daimh, Moxie Strings, Molly’s Revenge with Christa Burch, Ha Penny Bridge, Bywater Band, John Whelan & Haley Richardson, Galen Fraser Trio and many more.

Shopping and dining opportunities abound with over 50 vendors and a complete Irish Pub.  Hundreds of regional performers, singers, bagpipers, actors, jugglers and story-tellers roam the fairgrounds.

Friday night includes pageantry and jousting with the Royal Tournament and Gathering of the Clans, Free Friday Youth Arts Program, and the Friday night Ceilidh – a Celtic party with music, dancing and revelry under the stars.

KVMR Celtic Festival

See a variety of guilds and visit their camps. Photo submitted by KVMR.

Musicians are encouraged to bring their instruments and join in with jam sessions and workshops scheduled throughout the weekend.  History buffs can explore several encampments of “Guilds” who re-create points and places in time. Exciting and educational, the Celtic Animals exhibit houses falcons, eagles, hawks, owls, sheep and ponies.

Revelers make music into the night in the campgrounds complete with tall trees and a lake.  Camping and RV hookups are available on-site.

Amateur and professional athletes test their strength and skill in Scottish Games. Children are kept engaged with arts and crafts, story-telling, and romping on the straw bales.

FREE YOUTH ARTS PROGRAM – Friday, September 27 from 4:00 to 7:00PM

kvmr celtic festival

Bring the kids to enjoy the Youth Arts Program. Photo by Charlotte Peterson

The Celtic Festival’s Friday Youth Arts Program has grown to be a wonderful afternoon of music, magic, dance and arts instruction for aspiring artists. Participants, ages 10-18, learn from world-class artists and festival headliners. Youth participants in the program can take 1-3 consecutive workshops of their choice.
The FREE program includes workshops and a discounted youth day pass for attendees.


kvmr celtic festival

See some real jousting at the Royal Tournament. Photo submitted by KVMR

The three-day KVMR Celtic Festival kicks off with the Royal Tournament & Gathering of the Clans. Chivalry and honor reign on Friday, September 27 with a medieval tournament featuring full contact jousting, dancing horses, sword fights and hand to hand combat presented by the Imperial Knights. Honors to the winners will be presented by the King, Queen and their royal attendants.

The festivities take place in the Nevada County Fairgrounds arena and will include pageantry and a parade with medieval clans and guilds in attendance vying for favors.
The Imperial Knights travel internationally and feature the expert horsemanship of Thomas and Andrea Montgomery. Exhibitions include hand to hand combat and the thrill and excitement of full contact jousting. The company uses authentic medieval weapons and armor along with colorful heraldry and costumes.

KVMR Celtic Festival

Enjoy fencing and many other demonstrations throughout the festival.

Heavy armor jousting was prominent in the 15th and 16th century. The purpose of the competition is for each competitor to try to dislodge the opponent from his/her horse. Armed with 13-foot-long lances, they gallop down the lists toward each other and score points by unseating their opponent or striking the shield.
The Imperial Knights will present jousting exhibitions on Saturday and Sunday at 3:00 pm in the Fairgrounds Arena.

FRIDAY NIGHT CEILIDH – Friday, September 27 from 7:30PM

kvmr celtic festival

Dance the night away at the Friday night Ceilidh

This year the KVMR Celtic Festival will get a running start on Friday night with our Friday Night Ceilidh – an evening of Celtic music and dance featuring the Galen Fraser Trio.
There’ll be line, circle, and couple dancing for all ages and abilities. No need to come with a partner – it’s a great way to socialize and meet friends.

The Friday Night Ceilidh will be held at the Ponderosa Hall at the Nevada County Fairgrounds with indoor space for dancing, an outdoor deck with food and a full service pub, and beautiful garden space for relaxing and enjoying the evening.

The 24th Annual KVMR Celtic Festival and Marketplace mixes Celtic music and magic September 27th through 29th in Grass Valley, California at the Nevada County Fairgrounds. Click HERE to learn more and for a complete schedule of events.

Content provided by Cynthia Tweed and Peter Wilson, KVMR