It’s time for the Fourth Annual Durango Celtic Festival, going on Thursday through Sunday at the Henry Strater Theatre, 699 Main Ave., and Irish Embassy Pub, 900 Main Ave.
Kicking off the weekend’s festivities will be a ceilidh (pronounced “kaylee” and means house party) Thursday night at the Irish Embassy. Hosted by the Irish band RUNA, this family-friendly event is 10 bucks (and is free with a festival pass). For this party, audience participation is encouraged with singalongs, Irish step dancing and easy group dances. Along with RUNA, the Westwind Pipe Band and Matthew Moon’s Next Generation Fiddlers will be performing.
After that, it’s a nonstop weekend.
Not only will be there tons of regional bands to check out, you can also drop into a workshop or two: The festival is offering classes in everything from mandolin to Irish ceili and Scottish ceili dance to Irish soft-shoe dancing.
Headlining the festival this year are two award-winning bands: Dàimh (pronounced “dive” and taken from the Scottish Gaelic word for kinship) and the aforementioned RUNA.
Dàimh, based in the West Highlands of Scotland, are famous for taking their own modern, cutting-edge compositions and blending them with traditional Gaelic songs. And don’t think you’re just going to sit there and watch them play, either; Dàimh is known for its live shows – from pyrotechnic jigs and reels to ballads that will make you cry in your beer.
With RUNA, expect one of Irish music’s new “super groups” to push the envelope of traditional music by interweaving bluegrass, flamenco, blues and jazz into their songs. And they’re a pretty geographically diverse group, with band members coming from Ireland, Canada and the U.S.
For a complete schedule of this year’s festival, for more information or to buy tickets, check out www.durangocelticfestival.com. You can also get tickets at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2485546.