Toms River Celtic Festival to feature Highlands style competition
By Phil Stilton
The 4th annual Toms River Celtic Festival is set to take place this weekend at the Christ Episcopal Church on Washington Street in Toms River. The event runs from 8am until 5pm, Saturday, July 9th. The event is sponsored by the Pipes & Drums of the Barnegat Bay. They were formed in 2007 as a practice chanter group and eventually grew into a full pipes and drum band, led by drum instructor Gorden Bell and pipes instructor Andrew Tice. Aside from a day of traditional Celtic music with performances by Ulster Scottish, Cameron and Memorial United Pipe Band and 5 other bands and 12 soloists, the event will feature Scottish style highlands games such as caber toss, hammer throw and other heavy athletics competitions.
According to Elizabeth O’Connor, a volunteer for the event who also happens to be the principal of the St. Aloysius School here in Jackson, the group holds two festivals each year to raise money for the Pipes & Drums of the Barnegat Bay, including a Pirate Festival each year in October “It’s expensive to outfit a bagpiper, never mind an entire band so we have two ways to raise money to help purchase their uniforms.”
Aside from good music and Highlands style games and competitions, dating back to their 11th century origins, there will be traditional Celtic style foods.