2015 Durango Celtic Festival

Irish Music Award winners, Runa
Irish Music Award winners, Runa

There’s no better way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Durango than with the Durango Celtic Festival. The four-day festival in Southwest Colorado is an annual tradition that brings together the best of Celtic music, Celtic dancing and, of course, some darn good Celtic drinking. The 2015 Durango Celtic Festival, which runs March 12-15, features nearly a dozen bands as well as workshops on celtic guitar, gaelic singing, step dancing, fiddle, mandolin and more.

The festival kicks of Thursday with a “ceilidh,” which is a Scottish-slash-Irish term for a party with music, dancing, and storytelling (which usually gets more interesting after the drinking).

Thursday, March 12

6:30 p.m. — The ceilidh kickoff party at the Henry Strater Theatre is open to everyone, and everyone is welcome to join in the ceilidh dances. Admission is free with a pass or $5 without one. The party will be followed by an open (jam) session.

Friday, March 13

Friday night is the start of a weekend filled with music. Catch three bands at the Henry Strater Theatre:

  • 5:30 p.m. — Westwind Pipe Band
  • 6:00 p.m. — Kitchen Jam Band
  • 7:30 p.m. — Knockabouts

If you need more music, head over to the Irish Embassy Pub at 9 p.m. for an Irish Session with festival headliner and winner of the Irish Music Awards, Runa.

Saturday, March 14

Saturday is the big one, THE day when it all happens. Saturday is jam-packed with performances and workshops, starting with:

  • 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Celtic harpist Alta Graham will provide a complimentary concert in the Strater Hotel lobby.

Catch the Saturday afternoon and evening concert series at the Henry Strater Theatre:

  • 2:00 p.m. — Truckley Howe
  • 3:30 p.m. — Makhbeth
  • 5:30 p.m. —  Westwind Pipe Band
  • 6:00 p.m. — Patrick Crossing
  • 7:30 p.m. —  Runa

The Irish Embassy Pub is another hopping place on Saturday with afternoon concerts and a late-night performance:

  • 2:30 p.m. —  Shotgun Sallies
  • 4:30 p.m. —  Khara Wolf and Chad McCloskey
  • 9:00 p.m. —  Big’ns

Saturday day is wall-to-wall workshops from 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

  • 11 a.m.-Noon —  Banjo and Mandolin with Dave Curley, downstairs at the Strater
  • 11 a.m.-Noon —  Fiddle with Maggie Estes, downstairs at the Strater
  • 11 a.m.-Noon — Beginning Step Dancing with Shannon Lambert-Ryan, downstairs at Irish Embassy Pub
  • 12:30-1:30 p.m. — Intermediate Step Dancing with Dave Curley, downstairs at Irish Embassy Pub
  • 12:30-1:30 p.m. — Celtic Guitar with Fionan de Barra, downstairs at the Strater
  • 12:30-1:30 p.m. — Beginning Bodhran (kids welcome) with Bob Condon, downstairs at the Strater
  • 2-3 p.m. — Performance Vocal with Shannon, downstairs at the Strater
  • 2-3 p.m. — Bodhran with Fionan de Barra, downstairs at the Strater
  • 3:30-4:30 p.m. — Auxiliary percussion with Cheryl Prashker, downstairs at the Strater
  • 3:30-4:30 p.m. — Gaelic singing with Daniel MacNeill, downstairs in the Irish Embassy Pub

Sunday, March 15

Wrap up the weekend with some church on Sunday morning and more music, which is also holy.

  • 10:15 .m. — Pub church with Patrick Crossing, downstairs in the Underground at the Irish Embassy Pub
  • 12:30 p.m. — Open Session, upstairs at the Irish Embassy Pub

While you’re in town for the Durango Celtic Festival, be sure to stay with us at the Durango Quality Inn. Book your room today and remember to wear green – or a kilt. We’ll be happy with either.

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