One of the best events in downtown Dayton, the Dayton Celtic Fest is step dancing its way back for 2016. Located just a half mile from the front doors of First Place Apartments, the event takes over Dayton’s Riverscape Metropark and spans from Festival Plaza near N. Jefferson Street over to the children’s area on Patterson Boulevard and stretching down the streets and park areas between.
Are you thinking of heading out? That’s a great idea. Here are a few things to know before you go.
Food at Dayton Celtic Fest
Don’t you dare eat before you go! One of the best parts of Dayton Celtic Fest is the fabulous food. Tempting you with delicious aromas around every street, the hubs for the fair’s food are along Monument Avenue in front of the Pavilion, also known as the United Irish Stage during the event weekend, and down Patterson Boulevard.
While you’re there try the fried pork chops with a side of spiraled fried potatoes. Make sure you save room for the hash and reuben–a crowd favorite every year!
Brews at Dayton Celtic Fest
A staple of Irish festivals across the globe, you can’t have a good Irish fest without featuring Irish brews. The Dayton Celtic Fest fully embraces this tradition and offers five drink locations throughout the event grounds. Make sure you find a friendly staff member BEFORE hitting the line, however. You must have your ID checked and buy drink tickets at designated locations. Drink station attendees cannot accept cash.
Don’t forget to order like a pro for the evening. Drink station attendants will happily pour you a stout mix, if the station has the brews available. Here’s a few to try:
- Black & Tan = Stout + Pale Ale
- Half & Half = Stout + Lager
- Black Velvet = Stout + Cider
Want something a little different than the standard festival offerings of the evening? Try a Beverage Flight Tasting! For $15 in advance, $20 day of event, you are treated to a tasting of craft beers, while getting ale-ucation about each brew you’re sipping. Make sure you register early for a tasting; each tasting is limited to 50 people. Seeking something a bit harder than lager? Spirit tastings are also available for $25 in advance.
Entertainment at Dayton Celtic Fest
Music and dancing are the main draw for many Celtic Fest attendees. Sweeping the globe from regional acts to international groups, the music ranges from upbeat instrumentals with accompanying energetic step dancing to lovely Irish ballads. The headliners this year offer a variety of tried-and-true Irish tradition with new sounds like bluegrass blends and rock tones.
For those in your group that aren’t traditional Irish music fans make sure you catch Scythian. The energy this band brings to the stage will win any music lover over.
Attending Dayton Celtic Fest
Seating is limited at the festival so bring a blanket to lie out on the banks of the Great Miami River to relax and take the evening in. You can bring lawn chairs but the space to set them up (that isn’t extreme slope down to the river) is very limited.
Wear comfortable shoes. There is ample parking downtown but depending on when you head over to the festival you may have to walk a bit.
Bring cash! The food and drink vendors will not be able to accept credit.
It is July. You can wear your kilts but do remember to dress comfortably and for warm weather. Sunscreen is always a good idea, as well.
We hope you have a great time. Remember, the walk back to your luxurious apartment at First Place from this event, and so many more, is a short one.